Parenting 101: Moms protect against teen violence

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience abuse from a dating partner in a single year. Certain factors, such as an unstable home life, can put teens at risk for harmful relationships. But a new study shows moms may be able to thwart this effect.

One in every three adolescents will be in an abusive or unhealthy relationship. But did you know that a mother’s relationship with her child may protect him or her from abuse later? Research has shown that teens who live in homes with alcoholism and conflict between parents have a higher risk of being in a violent relationship themselves. So, researchers from the University of Buffalo wanted to find out if there are ways to counter this effect. They surveyed more than 140 adolescents, many of whom were exposed to alcoholic dads and conflict. The kids completed surveys in eighth grade and during their junior or senior year of high school.

Results showed children who experienced positive parenting strategies from their mothers during eighth grade were less likely to be involved in a violent dating relationship as a teen, even if there were high levels of conflict between the parents. The researchers suggest parents have a warm and accepting relationship with the child. Compliment them for their accomplishments and be accepting of who they are.

Resources are available for teens in toxic or violent relationships. Visit the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline at www.Loveisrespect.org or call the helpline at 1-866-33-9474. Another resource is the National Domestic Abuse Hotline https://www.thehotline.org/ or 1-800-799-7233. Assistance is also available in Spanish at 1-800-787-3224.

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