Parents often yell, scold and shout at their children in an apparent attempt to make them learn good habits. But scientists caution against such behavior. A new US study has found that shouting and yelling at teenagers could be actually increasing kids’ risk of depression and troubled behavior.
The study states even if parents enjoyed a close relationship with their son or daughter, harsh verbal discipline adopted by the parents hardly yield any fruit. Such behaviour was found to have a dramatic impact on emotional development of the teenagers.
Such behaviours of the parents land up children making feel humiliated and frustrated.
Scientists examined 976 two-parent families in the US, majority of which were middle-class. They found that many shifted from physical to verbal discipline as their children entered adolescence.
It was discovered that the parents use more severe forms of harsh verbal discipline in most of the houses.
The researchers found if parents use such punishment when their child is 13, the teenager was more likely to have behavioural or emotional problems later.
Children in the age group 13-14 suffered more depressive symptoms than children who were not disciplined in this manner. They were also more likely to have conduct problems such as misbehaving at school, lying, stealing, or fighting, the researchers stressed.
Significantly, the researchers also found that parental warmth, love, emotional support, and affection for their adolescents failed to lessen the effects of the verbal discipline. The sense that parents are scolding their child for their own good does not mitigate the damage inflicted. Neither does the strength of the parent-child bond.
“This is one of the first studies to indicate that parents’ harsh verbal discipline is damaging to the developing adolescent,” said lead researcher Ming-Te Wang, assistant professor of psychology in education at the University of Pittsburgh.
The study was published in the journal Child Development.