Fight With Your Teenager, Says the Doctor

Now here’s a study that might make you feel better about that fight you just had with your teenage daughter.  US researchers from the University of Virginia have found that regular verbal fights with parents just might help children to cope with peer pressure and to avoid drugs and alcohol.

They also found that these children tend to be better at negotiating.  Observing 150 13-year-old kids arguing with their mothers, the researchers then quizzed the teenagers three years later.

The researchers found that the teenagers who had used more reason and confidence when arguing with their parents were more likely to refuse drugs and alcohol three years later. As Joseph Allen, lead author of the study, explained, “It turns out that  what goes on in the family is actually a training ground for teens in terms of how to negotiate with other people.”

The study was published in the Child Development journal.  While it encourages healthy arguing, the study did warn that arguing just for the sake of arguing, or slamming doors, will not help teens to develop these skills and self-confidence.


James Fishman has been involved in the world of online magazines for more than 15 years. He helped launch Sunstone Online and continues to improve the magazine as site editor and administrator. His writing focuses primarily business and technology. To be in touch with James, feel free to contact him at james[at]

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