Being argumentative is good for teens: Study

Being argumentative is good for teens: Study

Does your child have a tendency to argue? Don't worry, it's good for them, as a new study has found that those who regularly fight verbally with their parents cope better with peer pressure and are less likely to turn to drug abuse or alcohol.

They are also more skilled negotiators and can "learn to be taken more seriously" after some verbal jousting with their elders, researchers from the University of Virginia have found.

The researchers concluded that parents should consider actively starting rows with their teenagers just to hone their youngsters' skills -- even if it does result in an ear-bashing in the short term, the Daily Mail reported.

In the study, the scientists observed and made audio and video recordings of 150 13-year-olds arguing with their mothers.

They then quizzed the teenagers three years later about their lives and experiences with drugs and alcohol.

Teenagers who displayed confidence and used reason to back up their statements in the arguments were more likely to have refused both, the researchers found.

Lead researcher Joseph Allen, a psychology professor, said the connection between resisting peer pressure and a teenager's ability to argue was "surprising".

He added: "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."

Joanna Chango, a clinical psychology graduate working on the study, said that although it seemed "counterintuitive" to tell parents to let their teens argue with them, it was worth considering.

The study, published in the Child Development journal, did say that parents should have "good reasons presented in a moderate way" during the row so they can set a good example, instead of slamming doors like the teenager might, the researchers added.

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