Teens who have loving bond with mother less likely to enter abusive relationships

A mother’s warmth and acceptance toward her teenagers may help prevent those children from being in an abusive relationship later in life, even if her own marriage is contentious, according to a new University at Buffalo study.

Previous research shows that adolescents who are exposed to marital conflict at a young age are at an increased risk to experience abuse in their romantic relations. However, the new study discovered that the child’s relationship with their mother serves as a buffer by potentially promoting the teen’s feelings of self-worth, says Jennifer Livingston, PhD, lead investigator and associate professor in the UB School of Nursing.

“Children form internal working models about themselves and others based on the quality of their relationship with their parents,” said Livingston. “If the primary caretaker is abusive or inconsistent, children learn to view themselves as unlovable and others as hostile and untrustworthy. But positive parenting behaviors characterized by acceptance and warmth help children form positive internal working models of themselves as lovable and worthy of respect.”

Full story at Science Daily

Sesame Street Features New Muppet Whose Mother Struggles With Addiction

Sesame Street is introducing a new initiative to support children affected by parental addiction. The initiative features a Muppet named Karli, whose mother struggles with addiction, The Washington Post reports.

Videos and other online content feature Karli, along with Sesame Street characters including Elmo and Abby Cadabby. The content is part of the Sesame Street in Communities program.

“There’s nothing else out there that addresses substance abuse for young, young kids from their perspective,” said Kama Einhorn, a senior content manager with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street. “Even a parent at their most vulnerable — at the worst of their struggle — can take one thing away when they watch it with their kids, then that serves the purpose.”

Full story at Partnership For Drug-Free Kids

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Parents have critical role in preventing teen drinking

Fewer Australian teenagers are drinking alcohol but more needs to be done to curb the drinking habits of Aussie students, based on the findings of the latest study by Adelaide researchers.

More than 2800 Australian students aged 12-17 took part in a survey of drinking behaviour, conducted by researchers from the University of Adelaide’s School of Psychology and the Population Health group at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).

The results of the study, now published in the journal BMC Public Health, provide a snapshot of the prevalence of alcohol consumption among students, and the factors that most influence their drinking behaviour. This research has been supported by Cancer Council SA and SA Government.

Full story at Science Daily

Why pot-smoking declines, but doesn’t end, with parenthood

Adults who smoke marijuana often cut back after becoming parents — but they don’t necessarily quit.

The influence of a significant other and positive attitudes toward the drug overall, in addition to the onset of parenthood, also are factors in whether someone uses marijuana.

It’s a changing landscape for marijuana use, as laws ease and cultural acceptance grows — in Washington state and elsewhere around the country. Against that backdrop, the study by the University of Washington’s Social Development Research Group (SDRG) aims to present information about marijuana use among parents and nonparents alike.

Full story of parenting and marijuana at Science Daily