Influence of Parenting on Friendship

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As children develop, they spend increasing amounts of time alone and with friends. Particularly during adolescence, there is a dramatic drop in the amount of time teens spend with their parents. Despite these changes in time allocation, research indicates that parents influence interactions with peers. Children and adolescents bring many qualities to their friendships that develop early in life as a result of socialization experiences in the family. Researchers find that children and adolescents from warm, supportive families are more socially competent and report more positive friendships. Further, there is evidence that parental responsiveness lessens the effects of negative peer influences. For example, an adolescent with a close friend who uses drugs is at risk primarily if the adolescent's parents are cold, detached, and disinclined to monitor and supervise the adolescent's activities. Research also suggests that adolescents without close friends are more influenced by families than peers, and that adolescents in less cohesive and less adaptive families are more influenced by peers than family members.

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