DU professor advises families to refocus for holidays to ease financial tension (w/ Video)

Nov 13, 2009

Martha Wadsworth, associate professor of psychology at the University of Denver (DU), says during the holidays families should focus on what has been proven to matter most in psychological research - quality family time.

"I love the winter holidays because most of them are about being together with those you love and getting back to what is important in life and that's our relationship with each other," she says. "Psychological research has shown over and over again that what truly makes people happy is not money, not stuff, it's time with people you love."

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.
Martha Wadsworth, associate professor of psychology at the University of Denver, says during the holidays families should focus on what has been proven to matter most in psychological research -- quality family time. Credit: DU videographer Jeff Haessler

Wadsworth's research focuses on coping processes in children and families exposed to overwhelming stress, including financial stress. She suggests that families take this opportunity to build in new traditions that are more about spending time with each other and less about money. Wadsworth says some families have started giving traditions, where they plant trees, donate to a local shelter or volunteer in a soup kitchen.

"Giving of your time and your energy can be very satisfying," she says.

Wadsworth says some parents should sit down with their children to explain that the holidays will be different this year. She says parents can make that decision based on their child's age.

"Children who still believe in Santa Clause don't really know price tags very well, so you can give them lots of boxes with little things inside," she says. "If they're old enough to not believe in Santa, then parents can have a conversation with them about how things are going to be different this year, but they're going to be good."

Source: University of Denver

Explore further: Newlyweds, be careful what you wish for

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

The family that eats together stays healthy together

Oct 02, 2007

In this fast-paced world, it can be a challenge for families to find time to share a meal. But a nutritionist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences says sitting down to eat as a family is worth juggling your schedule.

Holidays -- a right or a privilege?

Mar 17, 2008

Holiday memories from childhood are often some of the strongest to remain with us into adult life. But many children and families from disadvantaged backgrounds have little chance of forming those memories when the money ...

Recommended for you

Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

3 hours ago

Almost seven years have passed since Ontario's street-racing legislation hit the books and, according to one Western researcher, it has succeeded in putting the brakes on the number of convictions and, more importantly, injuries ...

Newlyweds, be careful what you wish for

Apr 17, 2014

A statistical analysis of the gift "fulfillments" at several hundred online wedding gift registries suggests that wedding guests are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to buying an appropriate gift for the ...

Can new understanding avert tragedy?

Apr 17, 2014

As a boy growing up in Syracuse, NY, Sol Hsiang ran an experiment for a school project testing whether plants grow better sprinkled with water vs orange juice. Today, 20 years later, he applies complex statistical ...

Creative activities outside work can improve job performance

Apr 16, 2014

Employees who pursue creative activities outside of work may find that these activities boost their performance on the job, according to a new study by San Francisco State University organizational psychologist Kevin Eschleman ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

Almost seven years have passed since Ontario's street-racing legislation hit the books and, according to one Western researcher, it has succeeded in putting the brakes on the number of convictions and, more importantly, injuries ...

Continents may be a key feature of Super-Earths

Huge Earth-like planets that have both continents and oceans may be better at harboring extraterrestrial life than those that are water-only worlds. A new study gives hope for the possibility that many super-Earth ...

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...

Under some LED bulbs whites aren't 'whiter than white'

For years, companies have been adding whiteners to laundry detergent, paints, plastics, paper and fabrics to make whites look "whiter than white," but now, with a switch away from incandescent and fluorescent lighting, different ...