Do you yell, hit or use physical threats as a punishment for your children? If so, your children may be at a greater risk of performing poorly in school, a study has showed.
The study by American researchers showed that students who were brought up harshly were likely to find their peer group more important than other responsibilities, including following parents' rules.
This further led them to engage in more risky behaviours in teenage. While females engaged in more frequent early sexual behaviour, males, on the other hand, indulged in wrongdoings like hitting and stealing.
"In our study, harsh parenting was related to lower educational attainment through a set of complex cascading processes that emphasised present-oriented behaviours at the cost of future-oriented educational goals," said lead researcher Rochelle F. Hentges from the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, US.
Further, those relying on peers, instead of doing homework, decided to spend time with friends and felt that there is nothing wrong in breaking rules to keep friends.
The researchers found that direct as well as indirect effects of parenting shapes a child's behaviour and his or her relationship with the peers.
"The study used children's life histories as a framework to examine how parenting affects children's educational outcomes via relationships with peers, sexual behaviour and delinquency," Hentges added, in the paper published in the journal Child Development.
Teaching methods focussing on present-oriented goals and strategies like hands-on experimental learning, group activities may promote learning and educational goals for individuals, especially those who are brought up harshly, the researchers suggested.
For the study, the team included 1,482 students from Washington, who were followed for over nine years -- beginning in seventh grade and ending three years after students' high school graduation.
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