A new study has pointed out that Canadian teenagers are quite a privileged lot , with more freedom than their French and Italian counterparts.
Scientists from the University of Montreal, the Universite de Rennes in France and the Universite Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Italy led the investigation, which examined how parents fashion emotional bonds and exert behavioural control with adolescents.
Canada, France and Italy were compared because the countries have commonalities: Latin languages, Catholic history and advanced industrialization.
Adolescents whose parents were born in their country of residence answered questionnaires: 522 Canadians from Montreal (54.8 percent girls; 45.2 percent boys); 336 French from Rennes (65.8 percent girls; 34.2 percent boys); 398 Italians from Milan (47.2 percent girls; 52.8 percent boys).
Teens were asked to describe parents according to emotional bonding, communication, frequency of conflict, rules, discipline and tolerance of friend-related activities.
"Parents are perceived as emotionally bonded by teens from all three countries, yet perception of parental control contrasted between Italy and Canada. Of all three countries, Italian mothers and fathers are perceived as using the most constraining practices," says first author Michel Claes, a University of Montreal psychology professor.
"Italian parents are seen as more demanding in rules and authorizations. They take more punitive actions when rules are broken and are less tolerant of peer socialization. They uphold family regulations and require their adolescents to ask for authorizations until a much later age."
"Our study found Canadian parents to be the most tolerant. They, had less rules and less disciplinary actions," says Dr. Claes.
"Canadian mothers and fathers were seen as less punitive, less coercive and more tolerant than French and Italian mothers."
The study has been published in the Journal of Adolescence.