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Most Parents are Obstacles to Teens’ Independence: Survey

In contrast, one quarter of the parents admitted that their role in impeding their teen’s independence, saying it’s quicker and less hassle to do things themselves (19 per cent) or they don’t think about how to give teens more responsibility (7 per cent)

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By Bharat Upadhyay 

Parents, please take note. A new survey shows that parents are often the obstacle in teenagers becoming self-sufficient.

“Our study suggests parents aren’t letting go of the reins as often as they should to help teens make that transition. This process of transition from childhood to adulthood includes everything, from preparing for work and financial responsibility to taking care of one’s health and well-being,” said Sarah Clark from the University of Michigan, the UK.

According to Bhagat Rajput, consultant, psychiatry, Manipal Hospital in Delhi, independence is essential for children’s growth, but mostly it’s the generation gap between the children and the parents that acts as a barrier.

“This gap is visible because each of them grows up in two separate historical time and culture, impacting the views, value and tastes. The barrier can be minimised with parents acting as guides to adolescents and increasing communication and understanding in the relationship,” Rajput told IANS.

Struggling for personal independence, 23-year-old Delhi-based Muskan, said: “Parents putting barriers at every step harms more than it helps. This is the time when we are trying to build our own identity and want to make our own mistakes. Parents think they’re advising or helping us, but too much interference only makes us rebel.”

The researchers recommend parents to position themselves as a backup resource, to be consulted only if the teen can’t handle the issue independently.

Parents
There was a similar, although not quite as dramatic, increase in the risk of best friendship dissolution for children with psychologically controlling parents. pixabay

Parents should also establish specific milestones and create opportunities to mentor their teens in gaining experience and confidence while reaching those goals, they said.

According to researchers, one quarter of the parents surveyed admit they are the main barrier to their teen’s independence as they don’t take the time or make effort to give them more responsibility.

The report was based on responses of 877 parents from the UK with at least one child aged 14-18 years.

Researchers also stated that 60 per cent of the respondents said their teens’ characteristics were barriers to becoming independent, such as not being mature enough (24 per cent), not having time (22 per cent) or not knowing enough (14 per cent) to take more responsibility.

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In contrast, one quarter of the parents admitted that their role in impeding their teen’s independence, saying it’s quicker and less hassle to do things themselves (19 per cent) or they don’t think about how to give teens more responsibility (7 per cent).

“Parenting is about learning to care and control in the right measure. Autonomy for young people is important for development of their identity. But autonomy has to be within a safety framework,” Achal Bhagat, senior consultant, psychiatry, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, told IANS. (IANS)

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Depression in Parents Responsible for Brain Differences of Kids

Brain differences detected in kids with depressed parents

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Brain structure
Researchers detect brain differences in children with depressive parents. Lifetime Stock

Researchers have found structural differences in the brains of children at high risk for depression due to parental depressive history.

Depression is a common and debilitating mental health condition that typically arises during adolescence. While the causes of depression are complex, having a parent with depression is one of the biggest known risk factors.

Studies have consistently shown that adolescent children of parents with depression are two to three times more likely to develop depression than those with no parental history of depression.

“The findings highlight a potential risk factor that may lead to the development of depressive disorders during a peak period of onset, said study author Randy P. Auerbach, Associate Professor at Columbia University in the US.

“However, in our prior research, smaller putamen volumes also has been linked to anhedonia–a reduced ability to experience pleasure–which is implicated in depression, substance use, psychosis, and suicidal behaviours,” Auerbach said.

Depression brain
Having a parent with depression is one of the biggest known risk factors for the brain of the child. Lifetime Stock

“Thus, it may be that smaller putamen volume is a transdiagnostic risk factor that may confer vulnerability to broad-based mental disorders,” Auerbach added.

For the study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, the researchers analysed brain images from over 7,000 children in the United States participating in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive development (ABCD) study, led by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

According to the study, about one-third of the children were in the high-risk group because they had a parent with depression.

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The research found that in the high-risk children, the right putamen–a brain structure linked to reward, motivation, and the experience of pleasure–was smaller than in children with no parental history of depression.

“Understanding differences in the brains of children with familial risk factors for depression may help to improve early identification of those at greatest risk for developing depression themselves, and lead to improved diagnosis and treatment,” said study researcher David Pagliaccio. (IANS)