How Our Home Impacts Family Emotional Health

Research studies have shown that how we interact with our families can be a direct response of how we feel about our living spaces. Researchers at Brigham Young University carried out a study, examining 164 families with children from ages four to six over the course of two years. 

The examination included home size, number of occupants, as well as whether they felt the home was too big or too small. Participants of the study were also asked questions about how they interacted with their families on a day-to-day basis (Did they make decisions together? Were the emotionally connected?)  

The studies showed that how the participants viewed the space – whether too crowded or too big, had more of an effect on their relationship with their family versus how much square footage the home actually had. Participants feeling “too-crowded” noted lower levels of family decision making and emotional expressiveness, while families feeling “too spread out” experienced feelings of distance and disconnection.  

With the study revealing that the actual layout of the home having such a large effect on family relationships, researchers have suggested the following to nurture family relationships. 

  • Rearrange furniture so that your space appears more open
  • Change home décor to reflect the personalities of everyone in your home
  • Remove items that can be seen as clutter 
  • Select a home that offers an open floor plan 
  • Put pictures on a kid’s wall in a highly visible spot 

From the study, it’s clear that the utilization of space in which families live, has a direct effect on how they maintain their relationships. So, when selecting your next home, try to invest thought not only in the size of the home, but also how the home makes you feel. 

* BYU University Communications. “How you feel about your home is more important than the size.”,, 19 June 2019.

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