Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Children Raise Their Parents

Date:
May 20, 2009
Source:
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
Summary:
Values are learnt at home; but not only from parents. Researchers studied the role of the family in passing on personal values. Parents influence their children. But children also influence their parents. And parents influence each other.

Adolescents and young adults do not just passively take on the values of their parents; they also socialize their parents.
Credit: iStockphoto/Lisa F. Young

Whatever Prime Minister Balkenende may say, values are learnt at home; but not only from parents. Dutch researcher Annette Roest studied the role of the family in passing on personal values. Parents influence their children. But children also influence their parents. And parents influence each other.

For her research Roest made use of written interviews with fathers, mothers and children of intact two-parent families that were conducted over a period of ten years. The first interview took place in 1990, when 660 families took part, and the last was conducted in 2000, with 295 families remaining.

The researcher argues for a clear distinction between value transmission and value similarity. Many researchers make no distinction between the two, but on the basis of her research, Roest concludes that such a distinction should be made. Although a personal value can be passed on from father to son, this does not mean that father and son will share exactly the same values later on. A measurement at a single point in time can measure similarities but not transmission or change, whereas a measurement taken at several points in time can.

Not one-way traffic

The fact that personal values are passed on from parent to child is not so surprising. What is striking, however, is that certain values are passed on to a child mainly by the father and others mainly by the mother. For example, fathers are important for passing on values relating to ideas about work. On the other hand, mothers are important in passing on self-determination; being able to do what you want of your own free will. But mothers also influence fathers with respect to values concerning the enjoyment of life and having fun. Furthermore, adolescents and young adults do not just passively take on the values of their parents; they also socialise their parents.

Roest established that adolescents influence their fathers with respect to values relating to the enjoyment of life. They also influence their parents' work ethos. Surprisingly, it is mainly boys that exert this influence. Roest found no evidence of girls influencing their parents. Value socialisation should be regarded as a complex and dynamic process, says Annette Roest. Family members influence each other and, moreover, the value socialisation in the family does not occur in a vacuum. The 'zeitgeist' plays a major role. This complexity means that it is possible to intervene in norms and values through different channels, not only through parents.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. "Children Raise Their Parents." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090514084059.htm>.
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. (2009, May 20). Children Raise Their Parents. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090514084059.htm
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. "Children Raise Their Parents." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090514084059.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins