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Generativity and Successful Parenting: An Analysis of Young Adult Outcomes


  • I would like to thank Lauren E. Duncan and Eileen L. Zurbriggen for making suggestions to improve this manuscript. Thank you also to AnnaMarie Pedersen who helped content code the religion question.

concerning this article should be addressed to Bill E. Peterson, Smith College, Department of Psychology, Northampton, MA 01063. E-mail:


ABSTRACT Generativity scores were assessed in parents and correlated with offspring outcomes. The offspring were participants in a longitudinal study spanning their first and senior years of college. Generativity of parents was positively related to offspring agreeableness and conscientiousness. Parental generativity was also related to offspring scores on future time orientation and positive affect. In addition, generative parents seemed to model their political interests to offspring, and that modeling was related to children's higher scores on generativity and greater interest in politics. Parental generativity was also related to offspring religiosity. Most of these relationships remained significant after controlling for offspring scores on generativity. Generativity of parents appears to be related to successful offspring outcomes.