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ISSN: 0976-3759

ISSN: 0976-3759

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May 2013 Page Contents Editorial Dr Amali Megala 02 Teachers Choose to be Verbose Anooreckha Sezhian Angayarkanni K and Dr Charumathi P J 03 A Study on Parental Control over Children Sundaravalli T 07 12 Achieving Bladder and Bowel Control: Parents Role Punishment for Correction than for Control Dr Hitesh N Jagani and Radhika P. Joshi 19 Locus of Control and Academic Achievement of Students Bagavathy K Dr Ramakrishnan N and Sabanayagam A 24 Parental Control over Peer Influence Naidu P J 26

Volume IX Issue 12

PINCODE: Thanking you, Yours truly,

Honorary Special Editor: Dr Amali Megala J


Associate Professor, St. Justins College of Education, Madurai.

Focus: Control Vs. Autonomy


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Note: Views expressed by the contributors are not necessarily the official view of the Journal.

Journal of SCHOOL SOCIAL WORK May 2013

Journal of SCHOOL SOCIAL WORK May 2013

ISSN: 0976-3759

ISSN: 0976-3759

Parental Control over Peer Influence


Naidu P J* Introduction: Control is resented and autonomy is welcome for any age group and in any situation. More so for the adolescents who are itching to rebel and trying to prove to themselves and others their mastery over themselves and situations that concern them. However, when they are not sure of themselves, they tend to depend on others: parents, teachers and their peer group, not necessarily in that order. When the adolescents are independent from their parents, some researchers and theorists aver that they become more dependent on their peers and peer pressure. Influence of parents in the normative years of the child is tremendous and has bearing on his behaviour throughout his lifetime. If either of the parent undermines the independence of the child during early childhood literally push the child into the hands of his peer when the adolescent faces a crisis. His line of thinking will be, Well. In such and such situation my mother did not allow me to decide. My father greatly coerced me into his way of thinking. And so, I will rather ask my friends 26
*Naidu P J, Cognito-academic consultant and former Social Welfare Officer, Tamil Nadu Medical Services.

for suggestions than depending on parents who expect me to be dependent on them even now. Hence, the high susceptibility to peer pressure. The same may happen in the case of indulgent parents and negligent parents also. There the line of thinking could be, Well. My parents are going to simply nod their heads for my every whim and fancy irrespective of consequences. So, why go to them? They would give the other angle to the same problem. May be my friends can. Problems of peer pressure: Moving from a small circle of influence (family) to a greater circle of influence is in every way a welcome move. But when an adolescent tends to be influenced more and more by his peer group, he is likely to be blindly follow the group decision, even if it runs counter to his, his familys and the societys values, ethos and the code of conduct. An adolescent, let us not forget, is looking around for his identity and if he lacks it at home (or, believes so) then he may take on the persona (mask) of a peer who he adores. If the adoration is for right

Journal of SCHOOL SOCIAL WORK May 2013

reasons, his peer becomes an ego and financially too. However, the ideal and the adolescent gets his same cant hold good for peers. personality moulded in the same line. When the detachment from family Good. On the other hand, if the creates a vacuum, peers rush in. adoration is for wrong reasons like Supportive parents who encourage hero-worship, popularity (sometimes negotiation and self-regulation raise bought and not earned) and a adolescents who think and behave mistaken notion of total autonomously and are less likely to independence, then the adolescent be dependent on others. They are is sucked into the whirlpool of all more likely to conform both to their vices the peer indulges in and may parents and to their peer on their own go unsalvageable. Most of the time volition. Thus autonomy grows out the peer influence may stop at such of close relationship with parents as innocuous matters like choice of well as detachment from them. clothes or hair-do or hang-out dens A study in a scout camp: which are tolerable. But, compliance More than hundred students of and blind adherence to the group higher secondary classes from norm may result in deviant activities different schools (both boys and girls and accompanying problems of from different socio-economic delinquency. Adolescent, as is well- groups) gathered for a camp. When known will do anything for they were given hypothetical acceptance. Cigarette smoking, situations of conflict, more than threetrying out drugs, vandalism, wanton fourths preferred to take their parents destruction of property and even suggestions for resolving the conflict deviant sexual behaviour can be the and a third preferred teachers to guide direct result of the craving for the them. The rest felt their friends (read acceptance of the peer group. peer) are better choice to seek Development of autonomy: advice. This indicates, to a limited Child largely depends on parents extent, the influence of adults over for survival and comfort. The childish peer group. In another instance, dependence is has to be jettisoned when the adolescents were asked at a point of time or else, the self does who they would take as model to not grow. In this context, the resolve conflicts they mostly adolescent slowly veers away from preferred to use parental model the family, first emotionally, physically rather than their peers. This indicates 27 Journal of SCHOOL SOCIAL WORK May 2013

ISSN: 0976-3759

ISSN: 0976-3759

the emotional attachment and feel- than emotional detachment. The good factor with family which is not benefits of close family relationships yet annihilated due to peer pressure. in adolescence, cannot be ignored. We find adolescents who reported So, autonomy can only be defined family connectedness and emotional as the degree of freedom a person security to be more poised and level- enjoys in the context of family headed. Teens who do not receive relationships and in owning support and acceptance from their responsibility for their actions and parents may seek such acceptance regulate their own behaviour and from their peers, making them more attitudes. It may also refer to likely to conform. On the other hand, adolescents abilities to negotiate adolescents with more secure and compromise conflicts, express attachments to their parents are also their own opinions, and agreeing to more emotionally secure with their disagree amicably. It refers to friends. Research has provided emotional autonomy of preserving evidence in support of this own ideas without being prejudiced proposition. to others ideas. Conflicts at home and school: Parental control: Theres no correlation between Parents call all the shots, so to positive atmosphere at home and speak, initially. When the adolescent continuation of the positive gradually assumes the control others atmosphere everywhere. However have in regulating his life he many adolescents self-reported relinquishes dependence by taking autonomy correlated with positive opportunities to govern his own family interaction. Adolescents who actions. As teens become more selffelt that their parents granted them reliant, they acquire more freedom reported fewer family responsibilities, until they can conflicts than other adolescents. eventually depend on themselves for Autonomous teenagers also were their basic needs. Increased selfmore likely to report that they felt regulation, responsibility, and close to their parents, that they independence are defining enjoyed spending time with them, characteristics of autonomy and a and that they wanted to be like them. break from control. Excessive It suggests that autonomy is related parental control can undermine an to positive family interaction rather adolescents development of 28 Journal of SCHOOL SOCIAL WORK May 2013

autonomy. Teens who feel that their decision-making, in which both parents constantly try to manipulate parents and their teens negotiate to or change them by hovering over make decisions, gives teens control them (helicopter parents) will likely over their lives without compromising have difficulty recognizing their own on parental supervision and decision making ability or trusting their guidance. Adolescents whose own ideas. As a result, they fail to families use joint decision-making learn to express personal initiative or tend to be more socially responsible, self-reliance. Feelings of parental self-assertive, and independent than control and rejection have been teens in families where the parents connected with maladaptive or the teens make the decisions classroom behaviours, substance alone. Children learn to express their abuse and peer advice seeking. opinions and to consider alternate Decision-making as a marker for views without resistance. independence: On the other hand, families that Decision-making is another aspect over-emphasize disagreements, or of family relationships that influence use pressure instead of rational adolescent autonomy. Parents who discussion to make their points, tend assert unqualified control and insist to inhibit adolescent autonomy. on making all of the family decisions Adolescents in families that tend to raise teens who are low in undermine their autonomy do not autonomy with very little opportunity learn to express their viewpoints or to participate in decision-making, to assert their individuality and they do not learn to own therefore rely more on the decisions responsibility for their behaviour or of others. to understand their skills. Such Will peer pressure wane? adolescents are more likely to If the influence of parents who the disobey their parents in order to be child had been seeing day-in and popular with their friends. We cant day-out for 16 years can wane, why assume teens to learn proper wont the peer influence which took behaviour without parental control. its roots barely a few years ago Adolescents decision-making can disappear too. Early teens are more be impulsive and dependent on peer influenced by their peer and late teens pressure. They may indulge in (in their eighteen and nineteen) tend deviant peer activities. Joint to be less influenced by their peer. 29 Journal of SCHOOL SOCIAL WORK May 2013

ISSN: 0976-3759

ISSN: 0976-3759

When there is parental regulation and judgments more than those of their control of participatory kind parents. Over-controlled adolescents (democratic parenting), the are more likely than other teens to adolescent tends to value family seek advice from their peers. norms more than the norm prevailing Another possible explanation is that in the peer group. However if the adolescents in controlling families parental pressure is excessive and grow to resent their parents control, a non-participatory kind (authoritarian and react by conforming to the parenting) the adolescent tends to behaviours of their peers in order to move closer, faster and longer toward rebel against their parents. the peer. It is possible, researchers Decision-making: say, to predict susceptibility to peer When adolescents experience the pressure in late adolescence from decision-making process at home, earlier family relationships. It is they learn to acquire that skill only if noteworthy to listen to a teen who they are involved in the process (in said, Earlier my father dictated terms a participatory setting) and not to me and now my friends! So, when otherwise. If they were in the wings the parents control their children, they when the parents were making learn to be controlled and look decisions, in the peer circle also they around for someone to handle them! will wait for a dominant peer to decide Their self-worth and assertiveness are things for the group and the compromised under the regimen of adolescents may lose their identity control. Mothers threatening to in the group. They believe that they withdraw their love also tend to push cant make worthy decisions, since their children into the comfort of they have rarely had a chance to do friendship. Because they have not so. In social interaction, these teens been given opportunities to regulate may rely on their peers to make their own behaviour, these teens do decisions for them, and are more not learn to be self-reliant or to susceptible to peer influence. The recognize their own capabilities. It is adolescents who have little power likely that they will become unsure of in their family relationships may their own abilities and rely on their believe to have little power in their peers for approval. These teens may interactions with their peers. As a also become hostile toward their result, they may not even attempt to parents and may value their peers express their views lest they 30 Journal of SCHOOL SOCIAL WORK May 2013

be laughed at, and instead may give emotionally charged communication. in to their friends. Adolescents who The adolescent learns emotional made their own decisions were also negotiation too. Interactions with likely to be susceptible to peer parents in negotiations give the influence. Teens who perceived that adolescents enough skills to handle they made most of the family such situations in schools, colleges decisions were likely to report high and later in their career. If the mother attempted and actual influence from is unrelenting, the adolescent knows their peers. Too much of freedom at how to influence her decision by home may also make the adolescent taking the support of his sister. If father feel that their parents are too weak to refuses to accept his request, he give in to all their fancy. knows he can garner the support of Control of character: his uncle to renegotiate with father. Apart from the control of parents, Thus the family interactions provide adolescents are influenced by the enough opportunity in abundant way parents control their character. variation to handle any kind of The parenting style in correcting the situation in the real world. They will character deficits strongly influences settle disagreements with their friends the adolescents. A weak and by discussing the topics carefully and pleading kind of correction attempt choosing a solution that is best for makes the adolescent feel superior everyone involved. These teens will and may at times condescend to assert their own viewpoints when behave rather than correcting his they disagree with their friends, and behaviour. He may succumb to a will be unlikely to conform to the similar kind of situation arising in peer decisions of their peers. relation giving in to the pleading peer Angry parents: rather than a dominating peer. Some parents use anger as a Emotional control: cover to stop negotiations at a Similarly the parental control of particular point and the adolescents their own emotions gives the know that they have reached no adolescent a lot of training in handling mans land there. In such a situation his emotional boiling point himself. they beat a hasty retreat. When Such an adolescent will not allow any confronted with such a situation in of his peers to irritate or influence him school or playground, they assume by their adverse remarks or that it is a dead end and negotiation 31 Journal of SCHOOL SOCIAL WORK May 2013

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ISSN: 0976-3759

Journal of School Social Work English Monthly ISSN: 0976-3759 Registered with Registrar of Newspapers for India under No: TNENG/2004/14389 Postal Registration: TN/ CC (S) DN / 47 / 12-14 Licensed to post under: TN/PMG (CCR) / WPP - 663 / 12-14 Date of publication: Third day of the month is not possible. They immediately repeating it at periodic intervals. rush to their best known strategy of Talk (dont lecture) with the retreating and waiting for an adolescent about how to avoid opportune moment to renegotiate or undesirable situations or people manipulate others to convince the who break the rules. Those who unrelenting parent. On the other hand choose friends who do not smoke, if the parent is not only angry but also drink, use drugs, steal, and lie to violent, then the adolescent learns their parents are far less likely to that violence pays! He resorts to do these things as well. violence when someone tries to Help the adolescent to develop a negotiate and renegotiate ignoring strong self-esteem. Strong selfhis warning angry gestures. He esteem helps children and mimics his angry parent. adolescents make decisions and Tips to parents: follow them, even if their friends First thing an adolescent must be do not think some choices are taught by a parent is to say a firm, cool. Some ways parents can unequivocal No to anything that do this include being generous is not approved by the family like, with praise, teaching children how cigarette, alcohol, experimenting to perceive themselves in with drugs, unsupervised internet positive ways, and avoiding browsing and such. It can be criticism of children that takes the taught by role-playing and form of ridicule or shame.
References: Schaefer, E S (1965): Childrens Reports of Parental Behaviour: An Inventory. Child Development, 36, 413-424. White, J L (1989): The Troubled Adolescent. New York: Pergamon.

From Principal/ Librarian,

Date: To Subscription Division, Journal of School Social Work, 8 (New 14), Sridevi Colony, 7th Avenue, Ashok Nagar, Chennai 600083 Past Subscription no:

PIN: Sir,

Sub: Renewal/ New Subscription reg. Please find enclosed a crossed DD drawn in favour of JOURNAL OF SCHOOL SOCIAL WORK for Rs 1200.00 (5 years subscription) Rs 2400 (10 years subscription) Rs 3600.00 (Patron subscription 15 years) payable at Chennai Service Branch. Details of DD: No: dated drawn on The Journal may please be sent to the following address:

PINCODE: Thanking you, Yours truly,

Published and owned by P. Jayachandran Naidu. Published from 8, Sridevi Colony, 7th Avenue, Ashok Nagar, Chennai 600083 and printed by T. Rajaguru at TRK Press, 39, Saidapet Road, Vadapalani, Chennai 600026. Editor: P. Jayachandran Naidu. Journal of SCHOOL SOCIAL WORK May 2013 32

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Journal of School Social Work has a current account (A/C no: 409201010035051) in Ashok Nagar, Chennai branch of Union Bank of India (IFSC Code: UBINO540927.) Subscription can be directly remitted from ANY BANK, anywhere in India.

Journal of SCHOOL SOCIAL WORK May 2013