Exposure to family arguments during adolescence has a lasting impact on an individual's mental health and functioning as an adult, according to a study published in the March edition of The Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.
The longitudinal study, led by Simmons School of Social Work Professor Helen Reinherz, shows adolescents who reported increased arguments at age 15, compared with their peers, had an elevated risk of major depression, alcohol abuse/dependence, drug dependence, and adult antisocial behaviors at age 30. These participants also had a twofold risk for being unemployed as adults.
"It was no surprise that we found long-term effects of exposure to physical violence, but the documentation of the potential lasting influence of verbal conflict is significant," said Reinherz. "We believe that exposure to increased family arguments in adolescence served as an important marker for impaired functioning into adulthood."
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About Jim Liebelt
Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
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