The results of the study found that while parents are criticizing the teenage son/daughter, their brains show more activity in the areas involving negative emotions and less activity in the emotional control region. The study involved 32 healthy participants, including 22 girls whose average age being 14. The adolescents were asked to lie in the brain-imaging scanner and were shown two 30-second clips of their own mothers criticising them.
The researchers then commented as," Youth shut down social processing (and) possibly do not think about their parents' mental states," after the studies were completed. The team, led by Kyung Hwa Lee from the University of Pittsburgh in the U.S., noted that the findings could lead to better parenting and tackling teenage problems.
"Parents may benefit from understanding that when they criticise their adolescents, adolescents may experience strong negative emotional reaction, may have difficulty cognitively controlling this emotion and may also find it challenging to understand the parent's perspective or mental state," they added.