《TRIUMPHS of EXPERIENCE》 the Men of the Harvard Grant Study

2017.03.06 22:08


Cast of Protagonists 

1. Maturation Makes Liars of Us All 

2. The Proof of the Pudding: To Flourish for the Next Sixty Years 

3. A Short History of the Grant Study 

4. How Childhood and Adolescence Affect Old Age 

5. Maturation 6. Marriage 

7. Living to Ninety 

8. Resilience and Unconscious Coping 

9. Alcoholism 

10. Surprising Findings 

11. Summing Up 






Chapter 1 

Adam Newman (2). Rocket scientist who illustrates repression and growing maturity. 

Chapter 2 

Dr. Godfrey Camille (5). Lonely physician who spent his life finding love, lifelong personality development, and the ability to let love in. 

Chapter 3 

Art Miller (0). Elusive high combat veteran and drama professor who found peace in Australia. 

Chapter 4 

Oliver Holmes (6). Judge from an idyllic childhood who illustrates its gift to old age. Sam Lovelace (0). Architect with a miserable childhood who illustrates its lasting curse. Algernon Young (0). Blue-collar worker from an aristocratic family; an illustration of development derailed. 

Chapter 5 

Charles Boatwright (6). Optimistic boatyard owner; a model of empathy. Professor Peter Penn (1). College professor. A man who never quite grew up. Professor George Bancroft (7). College professor who illustrates the sequential steps to maturity. Dr. Eric Carey (TY*). Polio victim who achieved Eriksonian Integrity in the face of an early death. Dr. Carlton Tarryton (TY*). A physician who failed to reach Career Consolidation. 

Chapter 6 

John Adams (6). A lawyer with three divorces and a long happy fourth marriage. Fredrick Chipp (7). A schoolteacher from a warm childhood who created a lifelong happy family. Dr. Carlton Tarryton (TY*). A physician with four unhappy marriages. Eben Frost (7). A mentally healthy lawyer who lacked the gift or desire for intimacy. 

Chapter 7 

Daniel Garrick (3). An actor, a “late bloomer” who illustrates the importance to old age of good (subjective and objective) physical health. Alfred Paine (0). A manager with no ability to let love in; he illustrates aging in the absence of good health. 

Chapter 8 

Dylan Bright (TY*). An English professor gifted in sublimation. Francis DeMille (2). A businessman. He illustrates personality development from repression and dissociation to maturity. 

Chapter 9 

James O’Neill (TY*). An economics professor who illustrates the destructive power of alcoholic denial. Bill Loman, a.k.a. Francis Lowell (2). An aristocratic lawyer who provides simultaneous illustrations of alcoholism as voluntary career and alcoholism as debilitating disease. 

Chapter 10 

Bert Hoover (TY*). A Study conservative. Oscar Weil (TY*). A Study liberal. 

Chapter 11 

Professor Ernest Clovis (3). A French professor who illustrates both sublimation and Guardianship. *TY: Died too young to receive a Decathlon score. Decathlon Score significance: 0– 1 bottom third, 2– 3 middle third, 4– 9 top third.


No man ever steps in the same river twice; for it is not the same river, and he is not the same man. —HERACLITUS 

This book is about how a group of men adapted themselves to life and adapted their lives to themselves. It is also about the Grant Study, now seventy-five years old, out of which this story came. In it I will offer tentative answers to some important questions: about adult development in general, about the people who engaged us in this exploratory venture, about the study itself, and, perhaps above all, about the pleasures and perils of very long scientific projects. 

Originally the Grant Study was called the Harvard Longitudinal Study. A year later it became the Harvard Grant Study of Social Adjustments. In 1947 it received its now-official name, the Harvard Study of Adult Development. But to its members and its researchers, and in early books, it has always been the Grant Study. 

It began in 1938 as an attempt to transcend medicine’s usual preoccupation with pathology and learn something instead about optimum health and potential and the conditions that promote them. The first subjects were 64 carefully chosen sophomores from the all-male Harvard College classes of 1939, 1940, and 1941, who took part in an intensive battery of tests and interviews. That first group was joined by sophomores from the next three Harvard classes, resulting in a final cohort (as the panel of subjects in a study of this kind is called) of 268 men. The original intention was to follow these healthy and privileged men for fifteen or twenty years, supplementing the intake data from time to time with updates. Thus an abundance of information would accumulate about the men and the lives they constructed for themselves— information that could be analyzed at will over time and across different perspectives. (Interested readers will find much, much more on the history and structure of the Study in Chapter 3.) 

That plan was realized, and more. Almost seventy-five years later, the Grant Study still, remarkably, goes on. We’re asking different questions now than the founders asked when the Study began, and our investigative tools are different. Of course the participants are no longer the college sophomores they once were; those who are still with us are very old men indeed. Time has called many of the beliefs of those days into question, and some much more recent ones, too. How long our current conclusions will hold up we cannot know. 

But whatever the uncertainties, asking questions and trying to answer them is always a fruitful process. We actually have learned some of what they wanted to know back in 1938: who would make it to ninety, physically capable and mentally alert; who would build lasting and happy marriages; who would achieve conventional (or unconventional) career success. Best of all, we have seventy-five years’ worth of data that we can refer back to (over and over again, if need be) as we try to understand why these things turned out as they did. 

We can use those data to try to answer other questions, too. There are old ones still open from the early Study days— about the relative importance of nature and nurture, for instance, or how mental and physical illness can be predicted, or the relationship between personality and health. There are new ones that could never have been dreamed of in 1938, like what the emotions of intimacy look like in the brain. And some old questions have morphed into new ones as we learn to formulate ever more cogently just what we’re seeking to accomplish in even making inquiries like these. This last in particular is an abiding concern of good science. 

Thus this story of the Grant Study: how it came to be, how it developed, and how those of us who participated in it developed too. It’s the story of what we’ve learned from it and what we haven’t (yet). And it’s a story about Time— studying it and living in it. 


The Grant Study is a longitudinal prospective study. Let me say a few words about that as we set out. In a longitudinal study, a group of participants (a cohort) is observed over time, and data about points of interest (variables) are collected at repeated intervals.

In contrast, observations in a cross-sectional study are made only once. A longitudinal study can be prospective or retrospective. Retrospective studies look back over time, seeking to identify the variables that might have contributed to outcomes that are already known. Prospective studies follow a cohort in real time, tracking target variables as the subjects’ lives proceed, and identifying outcomes only as they occur. Accordingly, the Grant Study collected all kinds of potentially (but not necessarily) relevant information about its cohort members over the many years of their lives, looking to learn what it could about health and success. And it has correlated this information periodically with the levels of health and success that each man actually achieved. You’ll see many examples of this process as we go on. 

Less abstractly, longitudinal studies let us contrast eighty-year-olds with themselves at twenty-five or sixty. Biographies and autobiographies, and the debriefings that elders offer their fascinated grandchildren, do the same thing. But these are all retrospective narratives, inevitably influenced by forgettings, embellishments, and biases. Time is a great deceiver. 

Prospective studies are like the baby books compiled by doting parents, or like time-lapse photographs; they document change as it happens, allowing us to visualize the passage of time free from the distortions of memory. While butterflies recalling their youths tend to remember themselves as young butterflies, prospective studies capture the reality (hard to believe, and often avoided!) that butterflies and caterpillars are the same people. 

But baby books and even year-long time-lapse videos are a dime a dozen. Prospective studies of entire lives are very rare indeed. None are known to exist before 1995; I’ll have more to say on that shortly. In fact, observational data on adult development have been so sparse that when Gail Sheehy and Daniel Levinson produced their groundbreaking books on the subject in the 1970s, the cross-sectional studies they relied on led them to some very erroneous conclusions (such as the inevitability of the so-called midlife crisis). 1 

Another important reason for prospective studies is that they establish contexts for the outcomes we’re trying to understand. The most experienced handicapper in the world can’t predict for sure which of the well-bred, handsome horses in the Churchill Downs paddocks each May will win the Derby. Certainty comes only after the race is won, and even then we only know who. The hows and whys remain a mystery. It’s easy to rate a beautiful woman according to how many people think her so, or how well she conforms to some established ideal, or how long she keeps her looks. But ratings like that can’t encompass the difference between being beautiful at one’s high school prom and being beautiful at one’s great-granddaughter’s wedding, nor between the beauty at eighteen that is the luck of the draw, and the beauty at eighty that is the result of a life generously lived. The Grant Study was hoping to learn something about nuances like these in its exploration of success and “optimum” health. 

Part of my intent in this book is to show why these nuances matter, and why, therefore, we need longitudinal studies if we want to learn about human lives. I will be focusing primarily on the Grant Study and its cohort, whom I will call the College men. But I will occasionally make reference to two other important cohorts. One is the Inner City cohort of the Glueck Study of Juvenile Delinquency. 2 The Glueck Study is a second Harvard-based prospective longitudinal lifetime study, begun independently of the Grant Study in 1940; its participants were a group of youths from disadvantaged urban Boston neighborhoods. Since 1970, one cohort of this group has been administered together with the original Grant Study, as part of the Harvard Study of Adult Development. (I will use that term when referring to both studies, but will continue to call the Grant Study per se by its original name.) I will also refer from time to time to the Terman women, a cohort from Stanford University’s (1920– 2011) Terman Study of gifted children, to whose data and participants I have had partial access. 3 It was the coming of age of the Terman cohort (male and female) in 1995 that made prospective lifetime data available for the first time. The Grant Study’s access to the Inner City men and the Terman women permitted us to contrast our privileged, intelligent, and all-male College sample with another all-male sample of very different socioeconomic and intellectual profile, and with a group of even more intelligent, though not particularly privileged, women. When these contrasts are enlightening, I will note them. The Glueck and Terman studies (and some of the correlations among them) are described in their own contexts in Appendix B, and are also considered in my previous books Aging Well and The Natural History of Alcoholism Revisited. 4 

I acknowledge readily that the Grant Study is not the only great prospective longitudinal lifetime study. There are others, three of which are better known than ours. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. The Berkeley and Oakland Growth Studies (1930– 2009) from the University of California at Berkeley include both sexes and began when the participants were younger; they provide more sophisticated childhood psychosocial data but little medical information. 5 These cohorts have been very intensively studied, but they are smaller and have suffered greater attrition than ours. The Framingham Study (1946 to the present) and the Nurses Study at the Harvard School of Public Health (1976 to the present) boast better physical health coverage, but they lack psychosocial data. 6 These are wonderful world-class studies, invaluable in their own ways, and more frequently cited than the Grant Study. But even in this august company the Grant Study is unmistakable and unique. It has been funded continuously for more than seventy years; it has had the highest number of contacts with its members and the lowest attrition rate of all; it has interviewed three generations of relatives; and, most crucial for adult development, it has consistently obtained objective information on both psychosocial and biomedical health. 7 Finally, perhaps alone among the world’s significant longitudinal studies, the Grant Study has published, with the men’s permission of course, lifespan histories as well as statistical data. 

Other studies exist now in Great Britain, Germany, and the United States that are larger and more representative than these older ones, and will join them in length of follow-up in another decade or two. The Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, for example, began in 1957 and included about a third of all of Wisconsin’s high school graduates of that year; it has endured for over half a century so far. 8 Eighty-eight percent of its surviving members are still active in the study at age sixty-five. (By way of comparison, 96 percent of the surviving Grant Study members are still active at age ninety!) The Wisconsin Study is more demographically representative than the other studies, and its economic and sociological data are richer and better analyzed. It has a weakness too, however; it lacks face-to-face medical examinations or interviews. We can anticipate a great wealth of prospective life data as these younger studies come into their own. But they will supplement, not supplant, the riches already offered by the Grant Study and its contemporaries. 

When I came to the Grant Study in 1966, I was a very young man of thirty-two, and had not yet achieved the pragmatic relativism of Heraclitus. I had been studying stable remissions in schizophrenia and heroin addiction— recovery vs. no recovery, white vs. black. I spent my first ten years at the Grant Study identifying thirty unambiguously good outcomes and thirty unambiguously bad ones out of a randomly selected sample of one hundred middle-aged men from the classes of 1942– 44. In 1977 I published a book, Adaptation to Life, demonstrating this accomplishment. 9 It made quite a splash. I was forty-three. What did I know? 

Today I am seventy-eight. The men of the Grant Study are in their nineties. They’re not the same as they were when they joined the Study, and neither am I. I have learned to appreciate how few blacks and whites there are in human lives, and how we and our rivers change from moment to moment. The world we live in is different; science is different; even the technology of documenting difference is different. As the Grant Study becomes one of the longest studies of adult development in the world, it is not only the men of six Harvard classes who are under the microscope. All of us who have worked on the Study— the Study itself, in fact— are now as much observed as observers. 


The laws of adult development are nowhere near as well known as the laws of the solar system or even the laws of child development, which were only discovered in the last century. It wasn’t all that long ago that Jean Piaget and Benjamin Spock were still kids, and the phases of childhood so stunningly elucidated by them still regarded as unpredictable. Now, however, we watch children develop the way our ancestors watched the orderly waxings and wanings of the moon. We worry; we pray; we weep; we heave sighs of relief. But we are no longer particularly surprised. We know what to expect. Our libraries are full of studies of human development— up to the age of twenty-one. 

What happens after that remains in many ways a mystery. Even the notion that adults do develop, that they don’t reach some sort of permanent steady state at voting age, has been slow to gain traction. Some of the reasons for this are obvious. It is much easier to achieve a long perspective on childhood than on an entire life. And as in physics, once Time gets into the picture you can say good-bye to the old Newtonian verities. There are certainly patterns and rhythms to adult life, and when we circumvent the distorting effects of time upon our own vision, we can sometimes discern them. 

But even the most carefully designed prospective study in the world can never free us completely from time’s confounding influence. Lifetime studies have to last many, many years, and over those years everything will be changing— our questions, our techniques, our subjects, ourselves. I’ve been studying adult development since I was thirty, and I know now that many of my past conjectures, apparently accurate at the time, were contingent or just plain wrong. Still, the Grant Study is one of the first vantage points the world has ever had on which to stand and look prospectively at a man’s life from eighteen to ninety. Having it doesn’t save us from surprises, frustrations, and conundrums; quite the contrary. Nevertheless, a continuous view of a lifetime is now possible for human beings. Like that time-lapse film of a flower blooming that Disney made famous in the sixties, it is an awesome gift. 

When the Study was undertaken in 1938, what we knew about human development across the whole of life was mostly based on inspiration or intuition. William Shakespeare delineated seven ages of man in As You Like It in 1599; Erik Erikson defined eight stages in Childhood and Society three hundred and fifty years later. 10 But Shakespeare and Erikson didn’t have much by way of real data to go on. Neither did Sheehy and Levinson. Neither did I, in Adaptation to Life. Nobody had access to prospectively studied whole lifetimes. I hope that this book, written in 2012, will begin to correct that lack. 


A few caveats as we proceed. It is well known that the Grant Study includes only white Harvard men; Arlen V. Bock, the physician who founded it, has frequently been criticized for arrogance and chauvinism on that account. It’s less well known that the Grant Study was not an attempt to document average health over time, like the more famous Framingham Study, but to define the best health possible. And we must therefore keep in mind two realities. First, lifetime studies, like politics, are the art of the possible. As Samuel Johnson famously quipped about dogs walking on their hind legs, “It is not done well, but you are surprised to find it done at all.” Second, in such huge undertakings, one must optimize one’s chance of success. Columbia neuroscientist Eric Kandel did not choose a random sample of the world’s population of homo sapiens when he did his Nobel-winning work on the biology of memory; he chose the obscure sea snail called Aplysia. Why? Because Aplysia has unusually large neurons. And it was precisely the gender and privilege of the Grant Study men that made them so useful for a study of human adaptation and development. Men don’t change their names in midlife and disappear to follow-up as women do. Well-to-do men don’t die early of malnutrition, infection, accident, or bad medical care, as happens much too often to poor ones. These men had a high likelihood of long life, a necessity for this sort of study. (A full 30 percent of the Grant Study men have made it to ninety, as opposed to the 3 to 5 percent expected of all white male Americans born around 1920.) Glass ceilings and racial prejudice were unlikely to hold them back from achieving to their fullest potential, or from the careers and lives that they desired. A Harvard diploma wouldn’t hurt either. When things went wrong in the lives of the Grant Study men, they would have a good chance of being able to set them right. Last but not least, they were unusually articulate historians. Bock needed all those advantages. You can’t study the development of delphiniums in Labrador or the Sahara. The Grant Study’s College cohort and Aplysia may not be perfectly representative, but they both afford us windows onto landscapes we have never been able to see before. 

One further note on Bock’s choice of a homogeneous population. If we want to learn what people eat, we have to study many different populations. If we want to learn about gastrointestinal physiology, however, we try to keep variables like cultural habits and preferences uniform. Societies are forever changing, but biology mostly stays the same.

This was another reason for the Grant Study’s strategy. It was examining healthy digestion, not traditional menus. When possible, however, the Grant Study has checked its findings against other homogeneous studies of different populations, especially the disadvantaged men of the Inner City cohort and the highly educated women of the Terman cohort. 


It is reasonable to ask whether this book is necessary. Over its seventy-five years of existence, the Study of Adult Development has so far produced 9 books and 150 articles, including quite a number of my own (see Appendix F). Why another? Well, because it’s not always easy to see how reports of any given instant relate to the future, or even to the past. How do we understand a seventy-five-year-old article from a news daily? The short answer is, it depends on what’s happened since. Whatever the world’s papers were printing in the summer of 1940, England did not in fact fall to the Luftwaffe. Reporters do the best they can with what’s available, but momentary glimpses can never capture the totality of history, and things may well look different later on. This in a nutshell is why longitudinal studies are so important. And to reap their full value, we have to take a longitudinal view of the studies themselves. When I sit down to summarize my forty-five years of involvement with the Grant Study, much of what I’ve written in the past seems to me as ephemeral as the 1948 headlines that trumpeted Dewey’s victory over Truman, for only now do I understand how the story has really turned out. So far. As the people’s philosopher Yogi Berra observed long ago, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” 

So as I see it, there are five reasons for this book. First, the Harvard Study of Adult Development is a unique, unprecedented, and extremely important study of human development. For that reason alone, its history deserves documentation. 

Second, the Grant Study has been directed by four generations of scientists whose very different approaches beg for integration. The first director focused on physiology, the second on social psychology, the third (myself) on epidemiology and adaptation. The priorities of today’s director, the fourth, are relationships and brain imaging. As any methodologist can see, the Grant Study had no overarching design. In 1938, there weren’t enough prospective data on adult development even to build solid hypotheses. Like the Lewis and Clark Expedition and Darwin’s passage on the Beagle, the Grant Study was not a clearly focused experiment but a voyage of discovery (or, as some have less charitably suggested, a fishing trip). The findings I report in this book are largely serendipitous. 

This is the first time in forty-five years I have allowed this awareness into consciousness, let alone confessed it in print. In my repeated requests to the National Institutes of Health for funding, I always emphasized the potential of the Study— the power of its telescopic lens, its low attrition rate— rather than any specific hypotheses I planned to test. I analyzed data whenever I had a good idea; like a magpie I’d scope out our huge piles of accumulated material looking for a telltale glint or glimmer. I have often wondered whether there is a Ph.D. program in the country that would have accepted the plans of any of the four Grant Study directors as a thesis proposal. But what a wonderful harvest serendipity has produced. As I will demonstrate with pleasure, unpredictability is an inevitable and sometimes infuriating aspect of large prospective studies, but it gives them a startling richness that more narrowly focused endeavors can never achieve. All the better for magpies. Perhaps it was a good thing that I never took a course in psychology or sociology. At least I had no preconceived ideas ruining my eye for an emperor’s new clothes. 

Third, this book collects in one place material scattered across seventy years of specialty journals, in which the publications of each decade modified the findings of the previous ones, and were modified again in turn as new contexts cast new light on old data. Until now, for example, there’s been no recognition of the importance of alcoholism in studies of development. But it’s clear that earlier findings in some very unexpected areas are going to have to give way in the face of the Harvard Study of Adult Development’s accumulating evidence about the developmental effects of alcohol abuse. It proved to be the most important predictor of a shortened lifespan, for one thing, and it was a huge factor in the Grant Study divorces, for another. Science is a changing river too. 

Fourth, the Grant Study has seen and absorbed many theoretical and technological transitions, especially in the evolving field of psychobiology. It began in a day when blood was still typed as I, II, III, and IV. Race, body build, and (more speculatively) the Rorschach were considered potentially predictive of adult developmental outcomes. Data were tabulated by hand in huge ledgers— even punch cards sorted with ice picks were a yet-undreamed-of technology. For calculation, the slide rule ruled. Today we grapple with DNA analysis, fMRIs, and attachment theory, and 2,000 variables can be stored on my laptop and analyzed instantly as I fly between Cambridge and Los Angeles. Here, too, documentation and integration are called for. 

A fundamental paradox is my fifth and final reason for writing this book. Despite all the changes I aim to document, we are all still the same people— the men who joined the Study seventy-plus years ago, and I, who came to direct it in 1966. One of the great lessons to emerge in the last thirty years of research on adult development is that the French adage is right: Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. People change, but they also stay the same. And the other way around. 


I will be making my points in this book not only with numbers, but also with stories. The biographies of all living protagonists have been read and approved by them. All names are pseudonyms, but these narratives are not composites. They accurately depict the lives of real individuals, with the one stipulation that I have carefully altered some identifying details according to strict rules. I may substitute one research university for another, for example, but I do not substitute a research university for a small college, or vice versa— Williams College for Swarthmore, perhaps, but not for Yale. I allow Boston as an acceptable interchange for San Francisco, and Flint for Buffalo, but neither for Dubuque or Scarsdale. I have made similar narrow replacements among types of illnesses and specific careers. In this way I have striven to remain faithful to the spirit of these lives and maintain their distinctive flavor, while altering the letter to ensure privacy. From time to time a prominent member of the Study has made a public comment relating to his participation in it. When I have quoted such comments, I have not disguised their authorship. 


Let me begin my history of the Grant Study with a story that illustrates many of the themes that have intrigued, enlightened, and confounded me over our years together. The protagonist is Adam Newman (a pseudonym), whose life— seemingly different with every telling— confronted us constantly with the realities of time, identity, memory, and change that are the heart of this book. 

Newman grew up in a lower-middle-class family. His father was a bank worker who never finished high school. One grandfather had been a physician, the other a saloon owner. There was relatively little mental illness in Newman’s family tree. Nevertheless, his childhood was grim. His mother told the Study that her first way of dealing with Adam’s tantrums was to tie him to the bed with his father’s suspenders. When that didn’t work, she took to throwing a pail of cold water in his face. Later she spanked him, sometimes with a switch. Adam became extremely controlled in his behavior. He maintained a strict belief in and observance of Catholic teachings, and concentrated on getting all A’s in school. His father was more lenient than his mother, but also more distant. “He only recognized that I was one of his children about once a month,” Adam said. There was little show of affection in the family, and in Newman’s 600-page record there is not a single happy childhood memory recounted. Rereading that record for this book, I see too that Newman says almost nothing about his father’s death when he was seventeen. 

In high school, Adam was a leader. He was a class officer in all four years, and also an Eagle Scout. He had many acquaintances, but no close friends. When he was a sophomore at Harvard, a few of his intake interviewers for the Study described him as “attractive,” with “a delightful sense of humor.” Others, however, described him as aloof, rigid, inflexible, repelling, self-centered, repressed, and selfish— the first of a lifetime of clues that this was a man of contradictions. 

Newman’s physical self was scrutinized minutely when he entered the Study, because the scientific vogue of the time was that constitutional and racial endowment could predict just about everything important in later life. He was described as a mesomorph of Nordic race with a masculine body build (all presumably excellent predictors for later success), but in poor physical condition. He was among the top 10 percent of the Grant Study men in general intelligence, and his grades were superior. As in high school, he had many acquaintances but few friends; he joined only the ornithology club and, eventually, that least social of fraternities, Phi Beta Kappa. One psychologist observed that he was “indifferent to fascism,” and Clark Heath, the Study internist and director, noted that he “did not like to be too close to people.” 

In short, Adam lived mostly inside his own head. His personality was described as Well Integrated, but he was also considered a man of Sensitive Affect, Ideational, and Introspective; you’ll hear more about all these traits as we go along. He gained distinction in the psychological testing on two counts: for his intellectual gifts, and for being “the most uncooperative student who ever agreed to cooperate in our experiments.” In psychological “soundness” he ended up classified a “C,” the worst category. (For much more on the assessment process, see Chapter 3.) 

The Study psychiatrists, informed by another theoretical fashion of the period, were more interested in Newman’s masturbatory history than in his social life at college. They took pains to classify him as cerebrotonic, as opposed to viscerotonic or somatotonic. (These terms imply constitutional distinctions between people who live by the intellect, by the senses, and by physical vigor, but they were never satisfactorily defined.) It’s also worth noting here, and it will come up again, that the early Study designers never put to the test their deep belief that body build is destiny. That had to wait for many years, even though opportunities for an empirical trial soon became available. 

As a nineteen-year-old sophomore, Newman took a hard line on sex. He condemned masturbation, and he boasted to the Study psychiatrist that he would drop any friend who engaged in premarital intercourse. The psychiatrist noted in his turn, however, that although Adam disapproved of sexual activity, he was “frankly very much interested in it as a topic of thought.” Newman told the psychiatrist a dream, too: two trees grew together, their trunks meeting at the top to form a chest with two drawers side by side, suggestive of a naked woman. He would wake from this dream, which visited him repeatedly, filled with anxiety. 

To my mind, there was no adolescent in the Study who better exemplified psychoanalytic ideas about repressed sexuality than Adam Newman. And it was typical of the Grant Study’s approach at the time that while Freud’s theories were carefully explained to Newman (who vigorously rejected them), no one asked him about dating or friendships. 

He was as dogmatic politically as he was sexually, and he regularly tore up the “propaganda” he received from the “sneaky” college Liberal Union. He claimed a commitment to empirical science both as an idea and as a career, but he also remained a practicing Catholic, attending Mass four times a week. When an interviewer wondered how his religious and scientific views fit together, he replied, “Religion is my private refuge. To attack it with my intellect would be to spoil it.” More contradiction. 

It wasn’t until ten years later, when the scientific climate had shifted away from physical anthropology toward social psychology, and relationships had become a matter of interest, that the Study recorded that Newman had had few close friends in college besides his roommate, and that he had dated only rarely. In part this may have been because Adam was working to pay all of his college expenses himself, and was also sending money home to his fatherless family. But it’s also true that he met early a Wellesley College math major who would become his wife and “best friend forever.” 

Adam went to medical school at Penn. He didn’t want to minister to the sick, but he did want to study biostatistics and avoid the draft. He married during his second year there, but except for his wife he remained rather isolated. He had no more interest in World War II than he had in patient care. On graduation he fulfilled his military obligations with classified research at Edgewood Arsenal, America’s research locus for biological warfare, and he continued in that work after the war. By 1950, Dr. Heath, the Study director, noted that Captain Newman, shaping the Cold War’s nuclear deterrents but never seeing patients, was making more money than any of the other forty-five physicians in the Study. One of Newman’s unclassified papers was “Burst Heights and Blast Damage from Atomic Bombs.” 

Despite these oddities, the record shows that by 1952, when he was thirty-two, Newman was steadily maturing. He was settling into a lifetime career in the biostatistics that he loved, using his leadership talents to build a smoothly running department of fifty people at NASA. His ethical concerns were engaged professionally too; in the 1960s his group participated in President Johnson’s plan to put the military-industrial complex to work on the economic problems of the third world. His marriage would remain devoted for fifty years, by his wife’s testimony as well as his own. It was an eccentric marriage— the two of them acknowledged each other as best friend, but neither had any other intimate friends at all. But many Study men with bleak childhoods sought marriages that could assuage old lonelinesses without imposing intolerable relational burdens, and Adam Newman seems to have found one. Perhaps this is why, unlike many men with childhoods like his, he effortlessly mastered the adult tasks of Intimacy, Career Consolidation, and Generativity (see Chapter 5) so early in his life. 

Furthermore, whereas before he had denied intense feelings, perhaps out of fear of being overwhelmed, he was becoming more able to handle them. During the Study intake proceedings when he was nineteen, he described the atmosphere at home as “harmonious, my mother affectionate and my father the same.” He was given a Jungian word association test (despite its preoccupation with physique, the Study did try, in an eclectic way, to measure the complete man), and Newman associated the word mother with affectionate, kind, prim, personal, instructive, and helpful. But the seasoned and tolerant social investigator who interviewed his mother experienced her as a “very tense, ungracious, disgruntled person,” and Adam’s sister commented, “Our mother could make anyone feel small.” It wasn’t until 1945, six years after he left home and five years after his initial workup, that Newman was able to write to the Study of his childhood, “Relations between me and my mother were miserable.” “I don’t remember ever being happy,” he went on, and he recalled his mother having told him that she was sorry she had brought him into the world. 

At age sixty, he took the sentence completion test developed by Jane Loevinger at Washington University to assess ego maturity. 11 The stem phrase was: When he thought of his mother . . . and Newman’s response was . . . he vomited. Yet it would be an oversimplification to say that he went on to become steadily more conscious of difficult feelings, especially the painful relationship with his mother, because at age seventy-two he could not believe he had ever written any such answer. People are complicated; memory, emotion, and reality all have their own vicissitudes, and they interact in unpredictable ways. That’s one of the reasons prospective data are so important. 

The young Newman was extremely ambitious. “I have a drive— a terrible one,” he said of himself in college. “I’ve always had goals and ambitions that were beyond anything practical.” But by thirty-eight he had gained some insight into the “terrible” drive of the college years: “All my life I have had Mother’s dominance to battle against.” This realization caused a change in his philosophy of life. Now, he said, his goals were “no longer to be great at science, but to enjoy working with people and to be able to answer ‘yes’ to the question I ask myself each day, ‘Have you enjoyed life today?’ . . . In fact, I like myself and everyone else much more.” He hadn’t become a hippie; it was 1958 and that scene was still some years away, and in fact Newman’s fierce ambition was still burning in his heart. This was just another manifestation of the complexities of the man. 

By the time he was forty-five, the laid-back freedom of his thirties was once more in abeyance as he battened down the hatches to deal with rebellious and sexually liberated daughters. Identifying unwittingly with his mother, he was now insisting that “greatness” be the goal of his intellectually gifted girls. Twenty years later, one daughter had still not recovered from his pressure. She described her father as an “extreme achievement perfectionist,” and wrote that her relationship with him was still too painful to think about. She felt that her father had “destroyed” her self-esteem, and asked that we never send her another questionnaire. 

I wish I knew what happened between them in Newman’s later years, when he had mellowed remarkably. Alas, I do not. But I do know that Time continued to wreak its changes. Occasional backsliding notwithstanding, Newman became more flexible than he had once been. The tectonic shifts of the sixties, and being father to such adventurous progeny, loosened him up sexually. He stopped disavowing Freud’s theories. As his daughters reached adulthood, he (reluctantly) abandoned his prohibitions against premarital sexuality. He stopped fearing the “sneaky liberals” and began to share the view that law and order was “a repressive concept.” In fact, he came to believe that “the world’s poor are the responsibility of the world’s rich.” He quit his job in the military-industrial complex and put his scientific books under the house “to mildew.” At sixty he was solving agricultural problems in the Sudan, using statistical knowledge gleaned in the planning of retaliatory nuclear strikes. The man who had gone to Mass four times a week in college proclaimed, “God is dead, and man is very much alive and has a wonderful future.” In fact, as soon as Newman’s happy marriage had begun buffering the terrible loneliness of his childhood, his dependence on religion had diminished greatly. Eventually he became an atheist. In mid-adulthood his mystical side was being expressed in meditation, and he began teaching psychology and sociology at the university level. 

This was not a complete changing of spots. To some degree, at least, we always remain the people that we were. On the one hand, Newman could write that he had learned from his daughters that “there was more to life than numbers, thought and logic.” But he still limited himself to only one intimate relationship— that is, with his wife. And although in his laboratory work he had become an increasingly generative leader, guiding those entrusted to his supervision with attention and concern, he was still a technician. Even in his teaching, he approached psychology and sociology not through the study of feelings, but through explorations of “the linguistic derivation of words like ‘relationship’ and ‘love.’” 

So what had happened? Clearly these weren’t drastic personality changes. They weren’t intellectual changes, either. Newman hadn’t taken any riveting new psychology courses or met any charismatic psychiatrists. This was an evolution of his personality, which could be seen in the increased ability— not uncommon as people get older (see Chapter 5)— to stay aware of uncomfortable feelings without having to control or disown them. As Newman slowly became less anxious about his own sexuality, he had less need to condemn or control the sexuality of others. He was recapitulating a developmental process that is familiar to us in much younger people— the one that accompanies grammar-school children into the tumult of adolescence. As Newman struggled free of parental domination, he achieved a less constricted morality and became more comfortable with himself. In that greater comfort, he moved toward a greater comfort with, and willingness to be responsible for, others. None of the great psychologists of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, including Freud and William James, had had anything to say about adult maturational processes like this. But over the decades, we at the Grant Study have watched fascinated as Adam Newman and his fellows changed and grew. 

Indeed, one great triumph of the Grant Study has been to make clinical documentation of changes like his available at exactly the moment when psychologists like Erik Erikson were beginning to recognize, schematize, and theorize about them. The loosening of the Sixties played a part in Newman’s evolution, but only a part. Not all of the Grant Study men did as he did at that time; some just dug their heels in deeper. This is one important truth of adult development: people grapple with growing up in their own ways, but we all do have to grapple. Obviously the men in the Study didn’t all follow the same course of sexual development as Newman, any more than all children handle adolescence identically. But one way or another we all have to come to terms with our own sexuality, and the ways that we do (and don’t) will end up shaping our lives. 

Newman’s story illustrates another endemic issue in long-term studies— the vicissitudes of subjects’ memories. (It illustrates the vicissitudes of researchers’ memories too, as you will see in a moment.) When I interviewed him at fifty, the only recurrent dream he could recall was of urinating secretly behind the garage, and he insisted that he had given up church as soon as he got to Harvard, having come to doubt the validity of religion. The four Masses a week and the dream of the naked woman/ tree were as unavailable to him at fifty as his mother’s unkindness had been when he was nineteen. 

Newman’s recollections of his history continued to alter as the years went on, always in the service of a process of psychological development; he was adjusting his inner self to the real world as he cautiously admitted more and more of his emotional life into consciousness. For example, when he was fifty-five, I asked Newman for permission to publish examples of his shifting memory. Repression again: he never became anxious about the fallibility of his beliefs; he simply returned my manuscript with the terse comment, “George, you must have sent this to the wrong person.” 

At sixty-seven, Newman told me that his approach to the rough spots in life was, “Forget it; let come what may.” But as we might expect by now, that philosophy did not represent pure evolution from control freak to Zen-like detachment. On the contrary, in many ways he was returning to an adjustment much more like his earlier one. If no longer quite so buttoned-down as his mother had tried to make him, he had always been far more so than his unbuttoned daughters, and now he was buttoning up again. He abandoned the social intensity of teaching, and returned to the safety of numbers. From age fifty-five until he retired at sixty-eight he worked in city planning, managing the complexities of the new Texan megacities. Although he appeared at first glance to have had three widely varied careers— ballistic missile engineering, academic sociology, and this last enterprise— his creative expertise in multivariate statistics was the common denominator. And while he was flexible enough to become the office computer guru (despite being a generation older than most of the technological hotshots in the department), he never became Mr. Sociable. 

“I don’t know what the word ‘friend’ means,” he said at seventy. He gave up meditation. “I ruined some of its delights by reading too much neuropsychology,” he told me at seventy-two, in a comment reminiscent of his early fear that intellectual scrutiny would destroy his Catholicism. Still, his passion at the time was nuclear disarmament— an attempt to undo the aggressive achievements of his military youth. It was also an example of the developmental stage of Guardianship, which we’ll explore in Chapter 5. And one of his bulwarks always was his gift for humor, a characteristic not shared by all statistical types. Even as a young man, he could take some distance from the complaint that he had “twice the sex drive” of his wife, and give his grumbling a wry and graceful turn: “We believe that making love should be practiced as an art form.” 

In our last interview, Adam Newman still maintained that he knew nothing about friendship, yet he loved his wife from his teens to the end of his days. His plan for the dread possibility that she might die before him was to join the Sierra Club and hang out with “tree huggers,” yet he was happiest working with numbers. He avoided too much contact with people, but during our interview the birds came to eat seeds literally from his hands, which he lovingly held out for them. He had abandoned “spirituality” years before and had not set foot in a church for years before that, but he showed me proudly the awe-inspiring fractals he was creating on his computer. He was a bundle of superficial contradictions, but he wasn’t alone in that. Everyone is consistent in some things and not in others, yet ultimately true to some fundamental essence in themselves. The more things change, the more they stay the same; 

Newman was part mystic and part engineer, and he remained that way to the end. He remained true to repression as a defense mechanism, too. When he was seventy-two I asked him for the third time if he could remember any recurrent dreams from childhood. This time he didn’t miss a beat: “Do you mean the one when I was on roller skates and ran into the back porch?” Three times over thirty years he is asked for a recurrent dream from his adolescence; each time he comes up with a completely different one with no recollection of the others. He relied on repression at nineteen, and at seventy-two he still did. 

But that doesn’t mean he hadn’t changed. He wasn’t living purely inside his head anymore; the narcissism of his youth had given way more and more over the years to interest and to empathy. And his mood was light. A very unhappy college student had become a very contented old man. As I closed our interview, I asked him if he had any questions about the Study to which he had contributed for more than fifty years. He had one. “Are you having a good time?” As I prepared to take my leave I politely shook his hand and he— so uncooperative and self-centered in his college days, so shy and intellectual for the last two hours— exclaimed, “Let me give you a Texan good-bye!” and threw open his arms to give me a huge hug.

Vaillant, George E. (2012-10-30). Triumphs of Experience (Kindle Locations 441-445). Harvard University Press. Kindle Edition. 


성숙한 삶을 위한 비밀을 발견한 75년간의 연구

비밀을 발굴하여 행복하고 목적이 있는 삶을 사는 것에 대한 헌신적인 연구가 있다면 어떨까요? 

유년기에서부터 노년기에 이르기까지 실제 사람들이 어떻게 변화하고 그들이 무엇을 배웠는지를 알기 위해 수십 년 동안 진행되어야 합니다. 

그리고 실제로 누군가가 실제로 착수하는 것은 너무 야심적일 수 있습니다.

오직 하버드 연구원 그룹이 이를 수행하여 삶의 근본적인 질문인 우리가 어떻게 성장하고 변화하는지, 시간이 지남에 따라 중요하게 여기는 것이 무엇인지, 그리고 우리를 행복하게 만들 수 있는지에 대한 포괄적이고 육체적인 그림을 만들어 냈습니다.  찾아냈습니다.

하버드 그랜트 연구 (Harvard Grant Study)로 알려진이 연구에는 몇 가지 제약이 있었습니다. 

처음에는 여성을 포함하지 않았습니다. 그럼에도 불구하고 1938-1940년생의 남성 하버드 대학생 268명 (현재 90 세까지)은 75년 동안 일정한 간격으로 삶의 여러 측면에 대한 데이터를 수집하여 인류의 하위 집합에 대한 타의 추종을 불허하는 엿볼 기회를 제공합니다. 

결론은 보편적입니다.

우리는 George Vaillant 교수가 1972년부터 2004년까지 연구를 감독한 Harvard의 정신과 의사와 이야기를 하고 연구 결과를 다시 보기 위해 책을 썼습니다 . 

아래에서, 더 행복하고 의미있는 삶을 추구하는 데 필요한 보조금 연구에서 5 가지 교훈을 얻습니다.

사랑은 정말 중요합니다.

그것은 명백하게 보일지도 모르지만 그것은 그렇게 덜 진실하지 않습니다. 사랑은 행복하고 성취하는 삶의 열쇠입니다. 

Vaillant가 말했듯이 행복의 기둥이 두 가지 있습니다. "하나는 사랑입니다."그는 씁니다. "다른 하나는 사랑을 밀어 버리지 않는 삶에 대처할 수있는 방법을 찾고 있습니다."

Vaillant는 이 연구의 가장 중요한 발견은 인생에서 중요한 것은 관계 뿐이라는 것입니다. 

한 남자는 성공적인 직업, 돈, 좋은 건강을 가질 수는 있지만 지지하고 사랑스러운 관계가 없다면 그는 행복하지 않을 것입니다 ( "행복은 움직일 수 없는 카트-the cart 일뿐, 사랑은 살아있는 말-horse입니다.").

사랑은 돈과 권력 이상입니다.

그랜트 연구(Grant Study)의 연구 결과는 다른 연구에서 발견 한 것보다 더 많은 돈과 힘을 얻는 것이 더 큰 행복과 관련이 없다는 것을 보여줍니다. 

그것은 돈이나 전통적 경력의 성공이 중요하지 않다는 것을 의미하지 않습니다. 그러나 그것들은 훨씬 더 큰 그림의 작은 부분입니다. 

그리고 순간적으로 우리를 위해 커다란 축축한 모습을 보일 수는 있지만, 완전한 삶의 맥락에서 볼 때 중요성은 줄어 듭니다.

"우리는 70 년대 후반의 만족감이 부모의 사회 계급이나 심지어 자기 자신의 소득조차도 암시적으로 연관되어 있지 않음을 발견했습니다."라고 Vaillant는 말합니다. 

성취 측면에서 중요한 것은 당신이 하고 있는 것에 대해 만족한다는 것입니다. "

삶의 시작과 관계없이 우리 모두는 더 행복해질 수 있습니다. (흙수저, 금수저)

Godfrey Minot Camille라는 남자는 그랜트 (Grant)의 연구에 들어갔다. 삶의 만족에 대한 전망은 매우 낮았다. 그는 미래의 모든 피험자들의 안정성에 대한 평가가 가장 낮았고, 이전에 자살을 시도했다. 그러나 그의 생애 말기에 그는 가장 행복했던 사람 중 한 사람이었습니다. 왜? Vaillant가 설명 하듯이 "그는 인생을 사랑을 찾고 있었습니다."

연결이 중요합니다.

Vaillant는 "기쁨은 연관성이 있습니다. "인생에서 더 많은 영역을 연결할수록 더 좋습니다."

이 연구는 삶의 만족에 대한 가장 강력한 예측 인자인 강력한 관계를 발견했습니다. 그리고 직업 만족에 있어서도 돈을 벌거나 전통적인 성공을 달성하는 것보다 자신의 일과 관련된 느낌이 훨씬 더 중요했습니다.

"의학적으로가 아니라 심리적인 의미에서 연구의 결론은 연결이 총격 사건과 일치한다는 것"이라고 Vaillant는 말합니다.

인생이 계속됨에 따라 연결이 더욱 중요 해지고 있습니다. 그랜트 연구 (Grant Study)는 사회적 연대를 장수, 스트레스 수준을 줄이고 전반적인 웰빙을 향상시키는 연구의 성장을 강력하게 지원합니다.

도전 - 그리고 당신이주는 관점 - 당신을 더 행복하게 할 수 있습니다.

미성숙에서 성숙으로의 여행은 나르시시즘에서 연결에 이르기까지 일종의 움직임이며,이 변화의 큰 부분은 우리가 도전에 대처하는 방식과 관련이 있습니다.

대처 메커니즘 - Vaillant가 말했듯이 "금괴를 만드는 능력"은 사회적지지와 전반적인 행복에 중요한 영향을 미칩니다. Vaillant는 마더 테레사와 베토벤을 예로 들어 비법이 자신의 정서적 진동에 대한 편견에 초점을 맞추고 성숙한 대처 방안으로 문제를 인식한다고 설명했습니다.

"테레사 수녀는 어린 시절을 보였습니다. 그녀의 내적 영적 삶은 매우 고통스러웠습니다." "그러나 그녀는 다른 사람들을 돌보며 매우 성공적인 삶을 살았습니다.

창조적인 표현은 생산적으로 도전에 대처하고 의미와 행복을 얻는 또 다른 방법입니다.

"베토벤이 그의 작품을 통해 비참함에 대처할 수 있다는 비법은 '합창교향곡'을 쓰는 것이었습니다." "베토벤은 그의 음악과 연결할 수 있었기 때문입니다."

인간의 발달 과정을 통해 들여다본 ‘행복하게 살아가는 지혜’!

75년에 걸친 하버드 대학교 인생관찰보고서 『행복의 비밀』. 1938년에 시작한 성인 발달에 관한 ‘하버드 그랜트 연구’는 268명의 대상자를 선정하여, 대학 시절부터 노년에 이르기까지 신체적·정서적 건강을 어떻게 유지하고 행복한 생활을 영위하는지에 대해 연구했다. 42년 넘게 총책임자로 이 연구를 이끌어온 장본인인 저자 조지 베일런트는 이 책에서 75년에 걸친 연구 성과를 통해 밝혀낸 ‘행복한 인생의 비밀’을 집대성하고 있다. 

어린 시절, 외모, 그리고 음주에 이르기까지 이 책은 사람이 살아가며 겪는 거의 모든 것의 실체를 밝히고 있다. 그 외에도 부자가 가난한 사람보다 장수하는 이유, 건강과 종교의 연관성 등 우리가 일반적으로 행복의 조건이라고 생각하는 것들과 행복의 상관관계에 대한 연구 결과들을 일러준다. 또한 이전에 알지 못했던 놀라운 연구 결과를 담아내어, 결국 품위 있고 건강한 삶은 유전적 영향보다 자신이 어떻게 살아가려 하느냐에 달려 있다는 것을 보여준다.


·사례의 주인공들 

1장 행복의 비밀 코드를 찾아라 

세상에서 가장 오래된 성인 발달 연구│어른의 성장에 대한 수수께끼를 풀다│인간의 전 생애를 알고자하는 거대한 시도│이 책을 쓴 까닭 

▶애덤 뉴먼 : 평생 변하고 성장하다 

2장 행복을 측정할 수 있을까 

10종 경기 평가 기준│10종 경기 평가 방법│행복한 삶을 위한 선행 조건│노년의 행복을 예측해주는 요인 

▶고드프리 카미유 : 사랑으로 자신을 치유하다 

3장 행복의 비밀을 밝히기 위해 시대를 뛰어넘다 

그랜트 연구의 개척자들│생물학에서 심리학으로│그랜트 연구의 대상자들 │초기의 자료 분석 방법 │초기 연구 결과와 수정│그랜트 연구에 닥친 재정 위기│2차 대전 후의 그랜트 연구│그랜트 연구의 인적 변화│졸업 25주년 기념 모임│그랜트 연구에 합류하다│그랜트 연구의 재정 이야기│그랜트 연구가 관련자들의 삶에 끼친 영향 │그랜트 연구와 함께 성장한 삶 │하버드 그랜트 연구의 미래 

▶아트 밀러 : 외상 후 성장을 이루다 

4장 어린 시절의 행복은 언제까지 지속될까 

아동기 환경 평가 방법│아동기와 노년을 잇는 중요한 연결 고리│유전적 요인 대 환경적 요인│어머니의 영향 대 아버지의 영향│잃었던 사랑을 회복해야 하는 이유│불행했던 아동기의 영향에서 벗어나는 법 

▶올리버 홈즈 : 어린 시절의 안정감이 그대로 이어지다 

▶샘 러브레이스 : 끝까지 사랑을 배우지 못한 사람 

5장 무엇이 성숙한 인생을 좌우할까 

‘통합’으로 나아가는 에릭슨의 성장 모델│성숙하지 못한 삶은 고통스럽다│성숙은 지혜를 부른다 

▶조지 밴크로프트 : 성인의 성숙 단계를 생생하게 보여주다 

▶찰스 보트라이트 : 가장 지혜롭게 성장한 연구 대상자 

▶피터 펜 : 성숙 과정을 경험하지 못한 사람 

▶빌 디마지오 : 출신을 극복하고 리더가 되다 

▶앨저넌 영 : 자신을 틀 안에 가두다 

6장 결혼이 행복을 보장해줄까 

결혼 생활 평가 방법│장기적인 관점의 연구가 알려주는 것들│좋은 결혼과 나쁜 결혼의 몇 가지 통계적 차이 성적 행복감에 영향을 주는 요인들│이혼하는 사람들과 불행한 결혼을 견디는 사람들 

▶프레드릭 칩과 캐서린 칩 : 서로의 허물까지 사랑하다 

▶애덤스와 낸시 애덤스 : 행복한 결혼 생활을 위해 노력하다 

▶에번 프로스트와 퍼트리셔 프로스트 : 관계의 한계에 부딪히다 

7장 구십대까지 행복할 수 있을까 

건강한 노년으로 가는 길은 하나가 아니다│노화에 관한 네 가지 연구│행복한 노년을 위해 조절할 수 있는 요인들│어쩔 수 없는 요인들│중요하지 않다고 생각했던 요인들 

▶앨프리드 페인 : 눈가리개를 쓰고 현실을 외면하다 

▶대니엘 개릭 : 꿈을 포기하지 않다 

8장 나를 방어한다는 것 

심리적 적응과 방어기제│방어기제의 스펙트럼│방어기제의 성숙도 평가 방법 │방어기제의 성숙도와 성인 발달의 관계│방어기제의 위계에 대한 전향적 진실│방어기제의 성숙도에 영향을 미치는 요인들 

▶딜런 브라이트 : 감정의‘승화’로 행복을 찾다 

▶프랜시스 드밀 : 세월과 함께 성숙해가다 

9장 알코올리즘의 유혹을 뿌리치지 않는다면 

알코올리즘 연구 방법│알코올리즘의 진실에 관한 7가지 질문 

▶제임스 오닐 : 알코올리즘을 부정하다 

▶프랜시스 로웰과 빌 로먼 : 다른 이름으로 기록된 한 사람 

10장 예상치 못한 발견 

부자가 가난한 사람보다 장수하는 이유│외상 후 스트레스 장애의 원인│정치적 성향과 정신 건강이 성 생활에 미치는 영향│건강과 종교의 연관성│외조부의 중요성 

11장 우리, 행복할 수 있을까 

사람은 살아가는 동안 계속 성장한다│알코올리즘에 관한 역사상 가장 긴 연구│회복탄력성의 실체를 밝히다 │생애 연구를 처음부터 만든다면 

▶어니스트 클로비스 : 책임감 있는 명예교수와 할아버지 

책 속으로

75년 동안 이어져온 그랜트 연구는 행복한 삶을 떠받드는 기둥이 두 개 있음을 발견했다. 하나는 사랑이라는 기둥이고, 다른 하나는 사랑을 밀어내지 않는 대응 방식을 찾아내는 것이다. _「2장 행복을 측정할 수 있을까」에서 

나는 자신의 삶에 대하여 솔직하게 말할 수 있는 대상자들과 긍정적인 정신 건강 사이에 어떤 관련이 있음을 알게 되었다. 성숙한 사람은 자신의 감정을 쉽고도 의미 있는 말로 표현하는 능력이 있고 또 흔쾌히 그렇게 한다. _「3장 행복의 비밀을 밝히기 위해 시대를 뛰어넘다」에서 

사람들이 흔히 세속적 성공을 이끄는 중요한 요인이라고 생각하는 외모나 활발한 성격을 가졌기 때문이 아니라는 사실이 밝혀졌다. 그들이 노년기에도 부를 누리며 행복하게 살 수 있었던 이유는 아동기에 따듯하고 친밀한 관계 속에 자랐거나, 아동기에 가졌던 좋은 기억들을 간직하고 있기 때문에 생겨난 간접적 결과물이다. 왜냐하면 아동기야말로 아이들에게 앞으로의 삶을 확신을 갖고 살아가도록 온힘을 다해 배우는 시기이기 때문이다. 인생 전반에 걸쳐 성공하는 삶을 예상하게 하는 척도는 어린 시절의 경제적 풍요나 사회적 특권이 아니라 사랑하고 사랑받았던 경험이다. _「4장 행복을 측정할 수 있을까」에서 

에릭슨이 말한 성숙은 차이를 인내하는 능력과 타인에 대한 책임감을 발달시키는 과정을 말한다. 다시 말해 성숙은 십대 청소년들의 자기중심적 생각에서 할아버지 할머니들이 타인을 사심 없이 이해하는 능력으로 발전하는 과정을 말한다. _「5장 무엇이 성숙한 인생을 좌우할까」에서 

행복하지 않은 불안한 사람들이 기분을 바꾸려고 알코올에 빠진다는 잘못된 생각은 너무나도 강력한 설득력이 있었고, 우울증과 알코올 애호 성향이 알코올 장애에서 부수적인 요인일 것 같지 않았기 때문이다. 그러나 많은 양의 알코올은 활력제도 안정제도 아니고 그 반대일 뿐이다. 술은 불면증과 우울증을 악화시킨다. _「5장 무엇이 성숙한 인생을 좌우할까」에서 닫기

출판사 서평

인간의 발달 과정을 통해 들여다본 행복한 인생의 비밀! 

하버드 그랜트 연구의 75년 연구 성과를 한 권의 책으로 만나다 

세계에서 가장 권위 있고 오랫동안 진행되고 있는 ‘하버드 그랜트 연구’의 결과물을 담은 책이다. 한평생을 살아가면서 사람은 신체적·정서적으로 끊임없이 변화하고 성장한다. 그 과정을 면밀히 들여다보기 위해 1938년부터 현재까지 2,000만 달러 이상의 비용과 수많은 연구 인력이 투입되었고 그랜트 연구의 성과를 보여준 책과 논문은 헤아릴 수 없을 정도이다. 이 연구는 성장기가 지난 성인도 계속해서 발달하며 성격이 변할 뿐만 아니라 절망적인 중년기를 보냈더라도 노년에 행복한 인생을 살 수 있다는 사실을 완벽하게 입증했다. 이러한 메시지를 전하기 위해 이 책은 연구 대상자들 중 24명의 인생을 10종 경기 점수로 매김으로써 흥미진진한 관심을 불러일으키고, 행복의 본질과 어떻게 살아가야 행복할 수 있는지에 대한 깊이 있는 사고와 실질적인 방법을 제시한다. 

·하버드 그랜트 연구의 위대한 점은 대상자들의 삶을 90세까지 연구했다는 것이다. 그 결과 노년에 이른 사람도 변할 수 있다는 놀라운 사실을 알아냈다. 대상자들은 팔십대에도 구십대에도 끊임없이 변화하며 살았다. _《뉴욕타임스》 

행복한 인생에는 어떤 비밀이 숨어 있을까? 

엄청난 통계 자료와 75년간의 추적 조사, 연구자의 열정이 찾아낸 행복한 인생의 비밀 

과학이 발달하여 평범한 사람도 100세까지 사는 시대이다. 그런데 인간의 정신과 육체가 일생 동안 어떻게 변하고 성장하는지에 대해서는 의외로 제대로 밝혀진 바가 없다. 지금까지 인간발달에 대한 연구는 유아기, 청소년기의 성장이나 건강과 생활습관의 연관성에 대한 단편적인 연구가 대부분이다. 이런 점에서 75년간 지속적인 관찰로 데이터를 축적하고 인간의 성장과 행복에 대해 연구해온 ‘하버드 그랜트 연구’는 독보적이고 전례가 없는 귀중한 연구이다. 저자 조지 베일런트는 42년 넘게 총책임자로 이 연구를 이끌어온 장본인이다. 그의 『Triumphs of Experience(행복의 비밀)』은 바로 그 ‘하버드 그랜트 연구’의 75년에 걸친 연구 성과를 통해 밝혀낸 행복한 인생의 비밀을 집대성한 책이다. 

이 책은 사람이 살아가며 겪는 거의 모든 것의 실체를 밝히고 있다. 어린 시절, 외모, 지능, 신체적 건강, 직업, 결혼, 정치, 종교, 방어기제, 그리고 음주에 이르기까지. 또한 이전에 알지 못했던 놀라운 연구 결과를 담고 있다. 

예를 들어 중년에 바람직하게 살았던 사람이 노년의 삶을 행복하게 보낸다는 법칙은 존재하지 않으며 그 반대의 경우도 마찬가지라는 것, 그리고 어린 시절 겪은 불행은 이후의 삶에서 극복할 수 있지만 어린 시절의 좋은 기억은 평생을 살아가는 데 힘이 된다는 것 등이다. 

행복한 결혼 생활은 칠십대 이후의 삶에 더 큰 만족감을 준다는 사실과, 80세 이후의 신체적 노화는 유전적 영향보다 50세 이전에 형성된 습관들로 인한 영향이 더 크다는 사실도 밝혀졌다. 결국 품위 있고 건강한 삶은 유전적 영향보다 자신이 어떻게 살아가려 하느냐에 달려 있다는 것이다. 

‘하버드 그랜트 연구’는 알코올리즘에 대한 가장 긴 연구 중 하나이다. 책에서는 알코올리즘이 상식적으로 생각하는 것 이상으로 행복한 인생을 좌우할 수 있는 요인이라고 설명하고 있다. 건강뿐 아니라 행복한 결혼 생활의 여부도 알코올리즘에 크게 좌우된다는 통계를 보여준다. 이 책은 그 외에도 부자가 가난한 사람보다 장수하는 이유, 외상 후 스트레스 장애의 원인, 정치적 성향과 정신 건강이 성 생활에 미치는 영향, 건강과 종교의 연관성 등 우리가 일반적으로 행복의 조건이라고 생각하는 것들과 행복의 상관관계에 대한 연구 결과들을 일러준다. 

인간은 평생 변하고 성장하는 존재이다 

세상에서 가장 오래된 인간 성장 연구 ‘하버드 그랜트 연구’ 

오랜 시간이 지나야만 밝혀지는 진실들이 있다. 1938년에 시작한 성인 발달에 관한 하버드 그랜트 연구는 268의 대상자를 선정하여, 대학 시절부터 노년에 이르기까지 신체적·정서적 건강을 어떻게 유지하고 행복한 생활을 영위하는지에 대해 연구했다. 75년이라는 긴 연구 기간 동안 연구 방법이 변하기도 하고, 결론이 뒤집히기도 한다. 연구 초기에는 인간의 체형과 인간의 성공이 연관 있다고 생각하고, 이 점을 중요하게 연구했다. 그러나 시간이 지나면서 둘 사이에 연관성이 적다는 사실이 밝혀지고, 연구의 방법과 방향도 달라진다. 저자 조지 베일런트는 10년 전 다른 책에서 ‘사랑받지 못한 어린 시절은 성인이 된 후의 행복은 물론 건강에도 영향을 미친다’고 썼다. 그러나 10년 뒤 그는 ‘사랑받지 못하고 자란 대상자들과 사랑받고 자란 대상자들은 최소한 심혈관계 질환을 일으키는 흡연, 고혈압, 과체중, 당뇨법에 대한 관리 면에서 아주 작은 차이밖에 없다는 것이 밝혀졌다’라고 쓰고 있다. 이처럼 세월과 함께 그랜트 연구도 성장하고 변화했고, 인생의 진실에 더 가까워졌다. 

이 책이 밝히고 있는 인간 성장과 행복의 비밀 중 하나는 ‘인간은 평생 변하고 성장하는 존재’라는 점이다. 어린 시절의 경험과 유전적·환경적 요인의 영향을 무시할 수는 없지만, 그런 조건들을 뛰어넘는 인간의 변화 의지, 성장의 방향이 행복에 더 강력하게 영향을 끼친다는 것이다. 결국 우리가 행복한 인생을 살 수 있느냐 없느냐는 우리가 어떻게 변하고 성장할 것인가에 달려 있는 것이다. 

성숙한 인생을 살기 위해서는 ‘방어기제’가 성숙해야 한다. 방어기제란 갈등과 스트레스를 최소화하려는 심리적인 기제이다. 그리고 방어기제는 정신병적 방어기제부터 성숙한 방어기제까지 다양한 위계를 가지고 있다. 성숙한 방어기제로는 이타주의, 유머, 예측, 승화, 억제 등이 있다. 방어기제가 성숙할수록 회복탄력성이 좋아진다. 책에서는 다양한 사례와 통계 자료를 통해 성숙한 방어기제와 행복의 연관성을 밝히고 있다. 방어기제가 성숙할수록 더 행복한 인생을 살 수 있는 것이다. 

매우 좋은 운을 타고난 사람도, 불행한 운을 타고난 사람도 살다 보면 늘 환경이 바뀌고, 그 환경에 처하게 만드는 조건도 바뀐다. 타고난 행운은 인생에 잠깐 영향을 미칠 뿐이다. 결국 행복한 인생의 비밀 열쇠는 ‘내가 얼마나 성장할 수 있는가’이다. 

이 책에 쏟아진 찬사들 

■친밀한 인간관계를 만들지 못했던 31명의 연구 대상자 가운데 현재 4명만 생존하고 있는 반면, 인간관계 형성을 잘하는 대상자들 가운데 3분의 1 이상이 지금도 생존하고 있다. 행복한 노년기를 즐기고 있는 대상자들이 완벽한 아동기를 보냈기 때문은 아니다. 조지 베일런트는 ‘좋은 일이 나쁜 일보다 인생에 더 많은 영향을 준다’고 말한다. 사랑하는 친지, 스승, 친구를 갖는 긍정적인 영향이 나쁜 일로 생기는 부정적인 영향을 덮을 수 있다는 것이다. 여러 사례를 통해 인생의 행복을 결정하는 신비한 힘이란 결국 인내심, 훈련, 정돈된 생활, 그리고 다른 사람이 의지할 수 있는 소양과 함께 만들어진 친밀한 인간관계를 형성할 수 있는 능력이라고 저자는 말하고 있다. 사람들과 사랑스러운 관계를 형성할 수 있고, 질서 있는 삶을 사는 대상자들은 행복하게 살았다. 그러나 아동기의 경험이 한 사람의 인생 전체를 결정하지는 않는다. 하버드 그랜트 연구의 위대한 점은 대상자들의 삶을 90세까지 연구했다는 것이다. 그 결과 노년에 이른 사람도 변할 수 있다는 놀라운 사실을 알아냈다. 대상자들은 팔십대에도 구십대에도 끊임없이 변화하며 살았다. _≪뉴욕타임스≫ 

■하버드 대학교 성인발달연구를 위해 선정된 268명의 놀라운 인생 이야기. 조지 베일런트는 이 책을 통해 하버드 대학교 성인발달연구의 결과들을 기막히게 정리해주고, 주요 발견 사항에 관하여 논의하고 있으며, 1966년부터 일생 과업이 되어 연구의 구석구석까지 깊이 파고들었던 자신의 열정에 대해서도 말해주고 있다. 성인발달연구는 무엇이 성공적이고 건강한 삶을 결정하는가에 관한 연구였다. 연구 초기에는 연구의 중심 과제가 군대에서 성공적인 장교가 될 만한 사람이 갖는 자질이 무엇인가에 관한 것이었다. 조지 베일런트는 ‘10종 경기 점수’라는 기준을 만들었는데, 이 점수는 노년기에 성공적인 삶을 살았다고 판단내릴 수 있는 10가지 성취 기준이다. 유머감각과 흥미로운 통찰력을 갖고 있는 저자는 세월이 지나면서, 그리고 건강에 관한 연구가 발전하면서 연구 과정에서 어떻게 선천적 요인과 후천적 요인들이 계속해서 그 영향력을 주고받았는지를 이 책에서 보여주고 있다. 조지 베일런트가 연구를 담당하고 있던 시절에는 인간의 성숙과 회복탄력성이 연구의 초점이 되었으며, 현재는 미래의 연구를 위한 씨앗이 되어줄 DNA에 관한 연구 성과와 fMRI 영상의 발달로 생물학이 다시 그 중심을 차지하고 있다. 저자는 이 연구의 가장 큰 성과는 사춘기가 지난 뒤에도 인간의 성장은 오래도록 계속된다는 사실을 밝혀낸 것, 전 세계에서 알코올 중독에 관한 가장 장기적이고 철저한 연구라는 점, 비자발적 방어기제를 밝혀내고 정리한 점 등을 들고 있다. 저자는 독자에게 영감을 주는 이러한 성공적 결과들을 자신의 개인적인 접근 방법을 통해 독자들을 끊임없이 끌어들이며, 읽는 이로 하여금 그가 깨닫게 된 사실인, 인간의 삶을 온전히 이해하기 위해서는 전 생애에 걸쳐 축적된 자료가 있어야 한다는 사실을 깨닫게 해준다. 혁신적인 한 연구와 그에 참여한 대상자들의 삶을 들여다볼 수 있는 흥미진진한 책이다. _≪커커스 리뷰≫ 

■조지 베일런트는 사람은 나이가 어떻든 발전을 멈출 필요가 없다고 결론짓는다. 그러나 나이가 들어 하는 성장은 미래에 대한 계획보다 지난 과거에 대해 새로운 시각으로 새로운 의미를 부여하는 과정이다. 하버드 대학교 성인발달연구가 날카롭게 밝혀낸 사실처럼 노인들은 젊은 사람들이 미래를 대하는 것과 같이 과거를 대한다. 미래는 젊은 사람들의 꿈이다. 그들은 앞날이 얼마나 정해졌는지, 얼마나 열려 있는지에 대해 생각하고, 또 미래를 만들려고 애쓴다. 그러나 노인들은 과거를 꿈꾼다. 노인들은 과거의 불가피성과 막연함을 밝혀내려 한다. 이들은 과거를 새롭게 만들려고 노력한다. 후회하지 않는 삶을 살았던 대부분의 연구 대상자들에게 과거는 미래의 삶을 꾸려가는 원동력이었다. _≪월스트리트저널≫ 

■이 책에서 조지 베일런트는 수많은 사기꾼 약장수들을 만들어낼 수 있었던 질문들 중 하나인 ‘무엇이 행복하고 성공적인 삶을 살게 하는가?’라는 물음에 대해, 우아하고 설득력 있는 하나의 답을 제시해주고 있다. 흥미진진한 작품이다. 이러한 정도의 규모로 이루어진 연구는 희박하며, 방대한 통찰력과 감동까지 함께 있는 책은 더 희박하다. _≪더 오스트레일리안≫ 

■조지 베일런트는 그랜트 연구의 대상자들이 91세에 이르기까지 그들이 살아온 삶의 이야기를 전해주고 있다. 논쟁의 여지가 있긴 하지만 이 연구는 지금까지 이루어진 연구 가운데 가장 중요한 연구라고 할 수 있다. 그러나 한 가지 확실하게 말할 수 있는 사실은, 이 책에는 수많은 삶의 지혜가 흘러넘친다. 노년기 삶을 준비하는 사람들이 반드시 읽어야 할 책이다. _마틴 셀리그먼(긍정심리학의 창시자) 

■조지 베일런트는 인간 삶의 조건에 대한 경외감과 인간의 발달에 관한 깊은 통찰을 갖고, 뛰어난 이야기꾼이 되어, 독자들에게 삶의 정수를 우아하게 들려주고 있다. _로라 L 카스텐슨(스탠퍼드 대학 장수연구소장)


이 글이 속한 카테고리는 은퇴Retire/생활Life 입니다.