November 28, 2007

As Not Seen In Details Magazine: Scientists Begin Studying How To Raise Good Kids

Does no one in the University of Nebraska - Lincoln cognitive psych department read Details magazine?? Professor Gustavo Carlos et al's newly published research on the impact of various parenting styles and behaviors is based on the assumption that parents want their kids to grow up to be not, "cool like us," but "good people" with "happy family lives."

If you can overlook this erroneous flyover state fantasy--and if you can make sense of statistical correlation study methodologies--Carlos' survey results from interviews with 233 high school students are pretty interesting:

Overall the researchers found many more significant relationships between parenting behaviors and kids helping others than between parenting philosophies and kids helping others, and while the effects of philosophies were all modest, many of the parenting behaviors had moderate correlations with helping behavior.
Which I think means "Do what I do, not what I say to do," but which really just means that a lot more research needs to be done on this topic. Also, judging from the comments, an awful lot of people are still really pissed at their dads.

What's the best way to help kids become good adults? Some possible answers [scienceblogs via dt reader michael]
Compare and contrast to the made-up findings: "Are you raising a douchebag?"

3 Comments

Weird that nobody has ever really tried to do a conclusive study on such an important topic, when you think about it... at least, there've been no studies not using the word "douchebag".

[I'm sure the Gawker Institute has been inundated with proposals. As a regular Gawker reader, I've become rather desensitized to what is still, for most people, an eyebrow-raising term. -ed.]

I was reading some thing on the history of slang and it mentioned that that's one insult that's very cross-generational; our grandfathers' generation used it as well, although the nuance has become more specific.

Of course, when French is the language spoken at home, "douche" is not so much an eyebrow-raising insult as an act of basic hygiene that everyone does in the morning after waking up (douche = shower).

[touche' -ed.]

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