February 27, 2009
Celebrities not really youth role models
Celebrities are often labeled as role models of youth but U.S. researchers say they have little influence on young people, unlike family negative role models.
Brenda McDaniel of Kansas State University worked with colleagues at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa surveyed 30 boys and girls, ages 7-14, from Boys and Girls clubs in Manhattan, Kan., and in Tulsa categorized as having a lower socioeconomic status, lower academic outcomes and being at-risk.
The researchers said that although the youths reported their ideal selves being most like a positive family member and a positive peer, results showed students were most similar to a positive adult outside the family.
The researchers also found that negative family members are a strong influence on the moral traits of youths. Youth who were more like a family member they didn't want to be like had higher reports of relational aggression and also received higher forms of corporal punishment in the home, such as spanking.