May 14, 2009

Canadian teens: Close ties to mom, dad

Canadian teenagers have closer ties to their parents than any teen cohort in the past 30 years, a decades-long study of Canadian children indicates.

Nine out of 10 teens say their mothers highly influence their lives, while 8 in 10 say the same of their fathers, the Project Teen Canada study by University of Lethbridge sociologist Reginald Bibby says.

The findings, first reported on by the Vancouver (British Columbia) Sun and The New York Times, are published in a book, The Emerging Millennials: How Canada's Newest Generation Is Responding to Change and Choice.

Teenagers also argue less with their parents than teens did 17 years ago, with 42 percent saying they have weekly quarrels with mom or dad compared with 52 percent saying this in 1992, the study of 5,500 teenagers found.

While 58 percent of respondents in the 1992 survey said they felt misunderstood by their parents, only 39 percent of teens asked said this in 2008.

Eighty percent said they had high levels of enjoyment from their mothers, up from 70 percent in 1992 and 2000, while 75 percent said this about their fathers. The dad percentage fell below 65 percent in 1992 and 2000.

Why the change? Because today's parents are doing a better job, Bibby told the Times.

The surveys consist of seven adult surveys conducted every five years from 1975 through 2005 and four youth surveys carried out in 1984, 1992, 2000 and 2008.