A book review in The Wilson Quarterly by Charles Barber, visiting assistant professor of psychology, visiting writer to the College of Letters, was recently picked up on Andrew Sullivan’s “The Dish” blog. Barber reviewed the book Triumphs of Experience: The Men of the Harvard Grant Study about a 70-year longitudinal study of 268 Harvard students.
Barber notes the study’s limitations–primarily, that its only subjects are white, privileged men–but writes that many of its findings are universal. “If they could be boiled down to a single revelation, it would be that the secret to a happy life is relationships, relationships, relationships. The best predictors of adult success and well-being are a childhood in which one feels accepted and nurtured; an empathetic coping style at ages 20 through 35; and warm adult relationships.”