Being Firm and Fair Builds Character

Temple University psychologist Laurence Steinberg and his research team studied twenty thousand adolescents and their families in nine different communities in the United States. Like Baumrind, Steinberg found that teens with authoritative parents were more likely to have solid character and to be confident and successful in school than those adolescents whose parents were permissive or authoritarian. The teens were also less likely to use alcohol or drugs. Steinberg reminds us that "The most important thing that children need from their parents is love, but a close second is structure."

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