June 18, 2024

Mothers’ Advice May Not Always Be Heeded by Adolescents, but It Still Plays a Role in Helping Them Cope: New Study

Adolescence can be a challenging time for both parents and children, with academic issues often being a source of concern for families. However, a new study from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign reveals that even when adolescents appear unresponsive to their parents’ advice, they may still benefit from it.

Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign analyzed conversations between fifth-grade students and their mothers regarding academic challenges, such as difficulty understanding schoolwork, boredom in class, and time management issues. The team identified the mothers’ advice strategies and the youth’s responses to this advice. They then correlated these findings with the child’s coping abilities during the transition to middle school the following year.

According to Kelly Tu, the lead author of the study and an associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Illinois, the team aimed to gain insights into the real-life interactions between parents and children. “We focused on academic challenges because academic expectations and pressure start to increase during this age,” Tu explained.

The researchers’ findings, published in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, shed light on the importance of parents’ advice, even when it seems to fall on deaf ears. The study highlights that the way parents communicate and the strategies they use can significantly impact their child’s ability to cope with the academic challenges they face during adolescence.

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