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Teens Benefit by Spending More Time With Parents

Update Date: Aug 21, 2012 08:23 AM EDT

Teenage could be a difficult time for many a parents and adolescents as well, as it is thought that teenagers grow increasingly distant from their parents. However, according to a new study, it is important that teens spend time with parents for their overall development. 

The study found that those who spent time with their dads in the presence of others had better social skills with peers, while those who spent time alone with their dads had better general self-worth.

Also, it was revealed that it was the first born that spent lesser time with parents when compared to the second- born siblings. It was also found that parents tended to spend more time with a child of their same sex in cases where they had a daughter and a son.

For the study, researchers from Pennsylvania State University studied whether teenagers grew apart from their parents and spent less time with them by capturing the everyday experiences and checking the amount of time children spent with parents from early to late adolescence. 

The researchers, in a time period of seven years, conducted home and telephonic interviews on five different occasions with parents and two oldest children in almost 200 White, middle- and working-class families living in small cities, towns, and rural communities, Medical Xpress reported.

The age of the first and second child at the start of the study was about 11 and 8 respectively. 

During the interviews the teens were quizzed about their social skills with peers and their general sense of self-worth. In following interviews, the teens were also asked about their activities and participation by others. 

According to the analysis of the daily activity report given by the youths, although time spent together by parents and teens in the presence of others seemed to decline from early to late teen years, the time spent by just the parent and the teen actually increased in early and middle adolescence. This finding contradicts the notion that teens grow apart from their parents as they progress toward adulthood. 

"This suggests that, while adolescents become more separate from their families, they continue to have one-on-one opportunities to maintain close relationships with their parents," according to Susan McHale, professor of human development and director of the Social Science Research Institute at the Pennsylvania State University, who coauthored the study. 

The study appears in the journal Child Development.

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