Parenting: Teen arguing - it's good for them!

December 30, 2011

A new study suggests all of that arguing between teenagers and their parents may help them stay out of trouble.

Joanna Marie Chango, a graduate student in clinical psychology at the University of Virginia, co-authored the study, which involved 157 adolescents. The researchers observed the subjects, all 13-years-old, have two conversations with their mom.

The researchers noted which adolescents seemed to back down easier in those talks with mom. Then, the researchers took another look at the subjects when they turned 15 or 16.

Chango and the other researchers discovered that the teens whom backed down more quickly with mom were more likely to be influenced by drug and alcohol use with their peers.

What does this mean?

Chango suggests that arguments we have with our parents (mom and dad) seem to prepare us in learning how to hold our ground in situations of peer pressure.

Of course, one could also say the teens whom were more argumentative with their mom are doing so because of heredity – their mom may have been argumentative and less vulnerable to peer pressure in her adolescence too.

So, depending on what you believe, savor those bitter battles with your teen. Or don't.


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