Parental relationships and their benefits to young people

When children go through puberty there is often a significant increase in parent-child conflict and a decrease in cohesive familial bonding.

Arguments concerning issues of control, curfew, acceptable clothing, and the right to privacy are some of the issues that may arise between children and parents.

Image for illustrative purposes only. (Source: Istock Photo)

Parent-adolescent disagreements also increase as friends demonstrate a greater impact on the child. This shows that as often as the adolescent is having clashes with the parents there are tendencies of that young person seeking for understanding and advice away from home.

While Adolescent and Young People strive for freedom, the unknowns can be frightening for parents.

Although conflicts between children and parents increase during adolescence, they are often related to relatively minor issues. Regarding more important life issues, many AYPs will still share the same attitudes and values as their parents.

Adolescents and young people who have a good relationship with their parents are less likely to engage in various risky behaviors such as smoking, drinking, fighting, and or unprotected sex.

Parents have a vital role to play in the lives of their adolescent young children and so, therefore, it is encouraged that parents should devote a great deal of attention to the needs of young people, especially those that concern their sexuality such as issues relating to intercourse, contraception, and safe sex.

Another major issue affecting young people is peer pressure. Young people who yearn for parental love and basic information on issues and do not find them tend to look for or rely on friends who will listen and advise them but sometimes end up being in the wrong company of people.

Adolescents and young people work to form their identities, they pull away from their parents and the peer group becomes very important to them. The level of influence that peers can have over an adolescent and young person makes these relationships particularly important in personal development.

Research has shown that a lot of adolescents associate with friends of the opposite sex much more than in childhood and tend to identify with larger groups of peers based on shared characteristics. Peer groups can have a positive influence on an individual, such as academic motivation and performance. However, they can also have negative influences, such as peer pressure to engage in drug use, drinking, vandalism, stealing, or other risky behavior.

Peers may facilitate positive social development for one another, but they may also hinder it. One of the most widely studied aspects of adolescent and young people’s peer influence is known as deviant peer contagion which is the process by which peers reinforce problem behavior by laughing or showing other signs of approval that then increase the likelihood of future problem behavior.

We also have things commonly posed by AYPs as hormonal changes and are linked with physical aggression among peers and these are AYPs who are enduring psychological difficulties including depression.

Sensitization for AYP can never be overemphasized. At any given opportunity, young should be sensitized to these various issues. AYPs always need psycho-social support (PSS) at all times to protect or promote their mental health and psychosocial wellbeing. This helps in the treatment and prevention of psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Credit: Shanahan, McHale, Osgood, & Crouter, 2007 and Department of Education open textbook pilot project, California State University.

1 Comment

  • Mimi Nenda

    Good one, we learn everyday.

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