Affluent teens fare better when their parents emphasize kindness and other prosocial values at least as much as academic achievement, finds a study in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.
Researchers studied 506 teens at a predominantly white, upper-middle-class middle school, asking them about their perceptions of what their parents value most, as well as about parental criticism, psychological symptoms and self-esteem.
The researchers also gathered data on grade-point averages and teacher-reported classroom behavior.
Children whose parents placed greater or the same level of emphasis on prosocial behavior as on achievement had higher school performance, higher self-esteem and fewer psychological symptoms than children whose parents placed greater emphasis on achievement.
The Monitor, March 2017, pp 11-12