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Study: The More Teens Are Yelled At, the Worse They Behave

Uh-oh. The More Teens Are Yelled At, the Worse They Behave, Live Science reports.

Parents commonly shout, yell or even swear at their teenagers, but such discipline tactics may actually increase their child's risk for behavior problems, a new study suggests.

In the study, parent's use of harsh verbal discipline with their children at age 13 was linked with an increased risk of conduct problems and symptoms of depression at ages 13 and 14. The more frequently parents used hash verbal discipline, the more commonly their children experienced these problems, the researchers found.

What's more, children with conduct problems also received more harsh verbal discipline from their parents. This suggests that harsh verbal discipline may lead to a vicious cycle of children acting out, and parents escalating their disciplinary actions, the researchers said.
Uhm. I agree that the study may indicate a relation between kids who get yelled at a lot and kids who get into trouble a lot. But couldn't it simply suggest that kids who get into trouble a lot get yelled at a lot? Isn't that a more logical conclusion?

I'll tell ya' I almost never yell at my kids. It's just not how I roll. I'm a disciplinarian, don't get me wrong but I just don't yell a lot. But I've known some good parents who raise their voices quite a bit. They're not demeaning or nasty. They just raise their voices a lot. So I don't think it's yelling that makes kids bad. I'm actually kinda' jealous (a little) of parents who yell a bit. Because when I do raise my voice it startles the heck out of the kids and then I end up feeling really bad. But I think this study is a bit of bunk. I don't think one's raising their voice makes kids bad. I think being nasty and mean to your kids can create a situation where kids act out badly.



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Wine in the Water said...

I think the answer is more fundamental. In my experience, the parents who generally yell a lot don't parent very well. Parents who don't parent very well are going to have kids with more behavioral problems. More behavioral problems are going to be harder for parents who don't parent well, making it likely they will yell even more.

Unknown said...

So I think they're saying skip the small talk and go right for the belt.

matthew archbold said...

Ha! We might need more studies for that conclusion.

Anneg said...

You might be right. I also agree that inatentive parents yell more. I think one of the big issues is the practice of telling kids that they make "bad choices." Then, nothing happens. Reasoning with a 3 year old without their full attention is a waste of time. You have to get their attention first, hence punishment. Same goes for teenagers. The more heinous (to them) the punishment, the more effective it is. Sometimes parents need to inconvenience themselves to get the teenager's full attention. If they think Mom or Dad is going to show up and embarrass them, they tend to avoid proximate occasions for sin. Last thing, I've seen lots of kids who only respond when they are yelled at.

Proteios1 said...

Tis is one of the weaknesses of the soft sciences. Interpreting data.
There may be a real correlation. The problem is the hundreds more experiments needed to determine the relationship between yelling and teen behavior.
Is it a chicken and egg? Bad parenting? Good kids coerced into badness as the media lets on (which isn't stated as such in the research article..yeah...mainstream media interprets science as bad as they do Catholicism).

Wine in the Water said...


I am sure there are some outliers, but in my experience the only kids who only respond when yelled at are the kids who have learned that there aren't any consequences for not responding to anything other than yelling. My mother was far more intimidating when she was quiet.

Anneg said...

WitW, you are right. Just didnt make that clear. Some of my kids' friends used to be surprised that I didn't yell and didnt think they had to do what you said till you yelled. Bad stuff happens when Mom gets quiet.

Servus Inutilis said...

Theodore Roosevelt had some excellent parenting advice: Speak softly and carry a big stick. Or as Father Claudio Acquaviva SJ (1543-1615) put it: fortiter in re, sauviter in modo.

LarryD said...

I read that last line, and immediately kicked my cat and smashed the windows of my neighbor's car.

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