Thursday, November 29, 2012

How Family Environment Influences Teens

Many parents, after years of hearing how horrible raising a teenager can be, are surprised when they find that living with teenagers is not just a pleasant experience, but a fulfilling and wonderful adventure. Teenagers can be very enjoyable to be around!

According to a recent study conducted by Child Trends and the National Adolescent Health Information Center, there are plenty of parents who enjoy their teens. In a national sample of mothers and fathers, more than 75% of parents reported having very close relationships with their adolescent children. Their teens seem to agree as a majority of teens (68%) reported being able to talk to their mothers about things that really bother them. The teens that were studied found it more difficult to talk to their fathers, yet about 50% said they were able to do so.

According to the research, family structure also makes a difference. Teens with two biological parents living at home were among the largest group reporting very close relationships with their parents at 82%. The numbers drop, but still remain healthy with 78% reporting very close relationships with their single mothers and 72% are close to one biological parent and one stepparent.

Other family factors influence their adolescent well-being including parental health behaviors. For example, foreign-born teens are more likely to eat family meals together, parents who don’t smoke are less likely to have teens that smoke, and parents who exercise are more likely to have active teens as well.

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