The study notes that attentive listening helps teens open up

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A new study has shown that compromised listening techniques, such as eye contact, nodding, and using keywords to praise openness, help teens when they admit misbehavior and share hurt feelings with their parents. .

Researchers at the University of Reading and Haifa asked 1001 young people aged 13 to 16 to watch a staged conversation between parents and teenagers about a difficult situation, adopting different body language and listening behavior in different versions.

Participants who saw versions in which parents were visibly attentive stated that they would have felt better about themselves as teenagers and would be more likely to reopen their feelings in the future.

The study, the first to examine the quality of isolated listening from other parenting techniques, revealed that being more engaged while listening made teens feel more authentic and connected to their parents.

Netta Weinstein, associate professor of clinic and medicine at the University of Reading, who co-led the study, said that “we all know that hearing someone talk about their problems is an effective way to reassure them and establish a connection. However, so far no a lot of thought has been given to the quality of this listening and the difference it makes. “

“This study shows that in parent – adolescent relationships, quietly listening to one while it shows them that they are valued and appreciated for their honesty, it has a powerful effect on their willingness to open up. “

For the study published in Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, an approximately uniform division of male and female adolescents was recruited, with three identifying themselves as another gender. The team found it it was equally important for all participants.

The first video chat scene portrayed a teenager who admitted to his mother that he had tried to steam and was embarrassed, and in the second he told his mother that he was rejected by his peers after denying -he vaporized and felt hurt.

Each video scenario had a version where parents listened intently and another where they seemed more distracted and used less eye contact.

“With such a large group of participants, it is reassuring to see that active listening was universally beneficial during these teenage years,” Dr. Weinstein said. “The study also has some important implications for adolescent well-being. Participants said the good listening pattern seen in the videos would lead to better well-being. While we don’t know how often expectations meet reality, it’s it is clear that active listening is more likely to lead to a good outcome for teenagers than the more passive style against which we tested it. ”


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More information:
Netta Weinstein et al, Parental listening when adolescents disclose on their own: a pre-recorded experimental study, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology (2021). DOI: 10.1016 / j.jecp.2021.105178

Citation: Attentive listening helps teens open up, study findings (2021, June 4), retrieved June 5, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-attentive -teens.html

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