Parents’ conduct may put kids at risk

Parents, please note – how you behave with your adolescent kids may have a serious effect on their mental health as adults, a new study has revealed.

Researchers in the United States have carried out the study and found that the way parents manage family arguments could seriously damage their children’s mental health later in life, the New Scientist reported. And, if rows get more frequent as they are growing up, the risk that the adolescents would suffer mental health problems as they enter their 30s increases dramatically, the study has shown.

In fact, the researchers have based their findings on an experiment which followed 346 boys and girls from similar socio-economic backgrounds in New England, starting from age five, over a period of 30 years.

At 15, about half the subjects reported that the number of arguments with their parents and between their moms and dads had increased, and 15 years later these people were more than three times as likely as the others to suffer from major depression, or indulge in drug or alcohol abuse.

They were also nearly three times as likely to engage in antisocial behaviour and more than twice as likely to be unemployed, the study found.

Lead researcher Helen Reinherz of Simmons College of Social Work in Boston said that the work "highlights the need for programme to teach parents effective ways of communicating with their children and with each other".


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