'Mama's boys' are happier and more successful, experts say

'Mama's boys' are happier and more successful, experts say

So, I have some pretty great news for any guy who considers himself a "mama's boy". Despite years of being made to feel less "masculine" - by peers and, well, society in general - it turns out that being close with your mum as a kid could mean great things for your future.

Researchers in several fields including psychology, sociology and child development have found that having a meaningful relationship with their mother had a direct correlation with men growing up to be successful in their careers, and in many other aspects of their lives.

The findings came in part from a 2012 study, known as The Grant Study, which was conducted by researchers at Harvard University.

First and foremost, the study's authors found that men who had a close relationship with their mother performed better both academically and professionally, and earned a higher salary as a result.

This mother skipped her own graduation to attend her son's. So his school decided to confer both their degrees:

Furthermore, it was discovered that men who enjoyed a deeper bond with their mothers had a reduced risk for developing Alzheimer’s and dementia later on in life.

A separate study which was published in Child Development, and centred around 6,000 children, found that boys who did not form as strong of a bond with their mothers tended to demonstrate more destructive and aggressive tendencies.

A young boy being held by his mother with his head resting on her shoulder, looking down a suburban street. Credit: Getty

They also tended to be more averse to intimacy, with Dr Michael Kimmel - a sociologist who has written a great deal on the topic of masculinity - saying that they feared betrayal as a result of the first female figure in their lives creating distance between them.

Moreover, a third study which was presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, and included 426 male middle school students from New York City public schools, found that boys who had a close relationship with their mum were less likely to overvalue qualities such as toughness, stoicism and self-reliance. In turn, these boys were less likely to develop anxiety and depression, and were more likely to perform better at school.