Mothers' friendships can influence teen's relationships with friends

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Mothers' Friendships Can Influence Teen's Relationships With Friends.

Washington: A new study has suggested that mothers' friendships with other adults can affect their adolescent children's relationships with their own friends, particularly the negative aspects of these relationships such as conflict and antagonism.

Gary C. Glick, a doctoral candidate at University of Missouri, and Amanda Rose, professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences, studied the development of friendships and other peer relationships during adolescence and their impact on psychological adjustment.

Mothers' Friendships Can Influence Teen's Relationships With FriendsThey found that adolescents might mimic the negative characteristics of their mothers' relationships in their own peer-to-peer friendships suggesting that mothers can serve as role models for their adolescents during formative years.

"Mothers who display high levels of conflict with friends may signal to their children that such behavior is acceptable, or even normative in friendships. Additional findings suggest that adolescents internalize their reactions to their mothers' conflict with adult friends which may lead to anxiety and depression," Glick said.

Youth ranging in age from 10 to 17 and their mothers were polled separately to measure perceived positive and negative friendship qualities in both groups.

Results showed that adolescents did not always imitate positive friendship qualities; however, negative and antagonistic relationship characteristics exhibited by mothers were much more likely to be mimicked by the youth studied.

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