Teenagers Whose Parents Are Too Strict Struggle With Relationships As Adults, Study Shows
According to a new study, teenagers whose parents are too strict are more likely to go on to struggle with adult relationships.
Researchers at the University of Virginia in the United States found that overbearing and controlling behaviour by parents when children are aged 13 years old, can be associated with difficulties in social relationships by the age of 32.
Attempting to control teenagers with stricter measures can actually "stunt their progress" said study lead author and postdoctoral researcher, Doctor Emily Loeb.
"This style of parenting likely creates more than a temporary setback for adolescent development because it interferes with the key task of developing autonomy at a critical period," she said.
Dr Loeb explained one way some parents attempt to control their kids' behaviour is through "intrusive" and "manipulative" means, for example making the child feel guilty.
To understand the affects, the team set out to investigate the long term impact of such behaviour.
According to Dr Loeb, children whose parents use the controlling tactics tend to have lower grades and lower self esteem.
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The study looked at 184 people aged between 13 and 32, from urban and suburban areas in south east US. The participants were from a variety of backgrounds, with the study also considering family income, gender and average school marks at the age of 13.
The participants were asked to fill out questionnaires about themselves, their parents as well as relationships and level of education.
As well as the questionnaire, researchers also collected information from friends, watched videos of the participants interacting with their closest mates - and in adulthood, their partners.
The findings were published in the journal Child Development and indicated that having overbearing or controlling parents at the age of 13 was linked to "less supportive" relationships by 27.
Added to that, the teenagers were less likely to be in a relationship by the age of 32. The results were largely down to problems at ages 15-16, including that they were less psychologically mature, according to researchers.
Study co-author psychology Professor Joseph Allen said: "Even though parents routinely attempt to guide their children toward successful adaptation, over-controlling parenting in adolescence has the potential to impede development in a fundamental way that's not easy to repair."
We knew we were in the right when we were grounded as kids!
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