Teens who argue with their parents are more likely to say 'no' to alcohol and drugs offered by their peers, shows study.
Researchers suggest that parents should see disputes not as a nuisance, but as a "critical training ground" where their offspring can learn life lessons in how to disagree, the Daily Mail reported.
AdvertisementThe study conducted at the University of Virginia in the U.S found that those teenagers who were encouraged to express their point of view calmly and confidently were also able to do so with their friends.
As such, those that did so were 40 per cent more likely to say 'no' when offered drugs or alcohol by their peers than those who didn't answer back.
Conversely, those children who backed down from a row because they felt it was pointless to take issue with their parents were more likely to accept the harmful offerings from their mates.
The study recorded 157 13-year-olds on video as they described their biggest slanging matches with their parents.
The interview was then played back to both parent and child.
The teenagers were interviewed again at the ages of 15 and 16.
"It was the parents who said they wanted to talk who were on the right track as we found that what a teen learned in handling these kinds of disagreements with their parents was exactly what they took into their peer world," said Psychologist Joseph P. Allen, who led the research, told National Public Radio.
"We tell parents to think of those arguments not as nuisance, but as a critical training ground," he added.
The findings have been published in the journal Child Development.