Arguing With Parents Helps Teens Handle Peer Pressure

Having a teenager with the debating skills of a courtroom lawyer may be a blessing in disguise. According to the findings of a study conducted by researchers at the University of Virginia and published in a recent issue of the journal Child Development, teenagers who are able to hold their own during family discussions are better able to resist pressure from their peers to use drugs or alcohol.

Psychologists from the University of Virginia followed 184 teenagers over a three-year period, interviewing them at ages 13, 15, and 16. They also observed the teens interacting with both family members and friends.

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