Washington, Feb 10 : Sharing details of your life with parents is not a bad idea after all, for a study has revealed that parents still have a positive influence on their college going children, by staying close and knowing details of their lives.
The study led by Brigham Young University family scientist Laura Walker, also indicated that parents' knowledge or awareness of what's going on in their child's life at college is associated with lower risk of children in engaging in risky behaviours including drugs, alcohol and risky sexual activity.
The results of the study indicated that children who shared their life details with fathers were less likely to do drugs or engage in sexual behaviours. However, the ones who had their mother in the loop were less prone to get into drinking alcohol.
In fact, the protective effect of mothers' awareness was more prominent when the students also felt close to their mom. In this situation, it was found that students were less likely to be involved in any of the three risk behaviour categories studied: drugs, alcohol and risky sexual activity.
"For parents, the fact that closeness plays a strong role is a message to not be overbearing. Having a close relationship promotes the child wanting to open up and share what's going on rather than the parent having to intrusively solicit the information from the child," said Walker.
The researchers noted that delaying adulthood results in an extension of parents' period of service to their children. And it was shown by the results that the relationships between parents and children continue to be important during the transition to adulthood.
The study involved 200 undergraduate students ages 18 to 25 from two mid-Atlantic colleges, a Midwestern university and a West Coast university.
The study paper titled as: "The Role of Perceived Parental Knowledge on Emerging Adults' Risk Behaviours," is published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.