Researchers have found that happy childhood recollections, particularly involving parents, make a person less likely to be depressed or suffer chronic illnesses in their adult lives.

They suggest the happy memories help reduce stress and make people feel more positive generally, making them more buoyant. This makes it easier for them maintain a healthy lifestyle involving regular exercise and good food.

The findings are detailed in the journal Health Psychology, published by the American Psychology Association.

The researchers used data from two nationally representative groups involving 22,000 participants.

Mothers have more influence
The research found a stronger association in people who reported a more loving relationship with their mothers, but that might change as fathers play an increasing role in their children's upbringing, the researchers said.

"The increased influence of the mothers may reflect the broader cultural circumstances of the time when the participants were raised because mothers were most likely the primary caregivers," said Robin Edelstein, of University of Michigan, who worked on the study.

Read the full article
at MSN.