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Parents’ mental health and parenting style can influence the course of their children’s friendships in elementary school, finds a study in the Journal of Family Psychology. Researchers analyzed data from 1,523 Finnish schoolchildren, followed from first to sixth grade, and the children’s parents. The researchers followed pairs of friends over those years to see whether children remained close to their best pals from first grade. They also used peer reports to assess whether the children were generally popular with their classmates and asked the parents questions about their parenting behavior (including behavioral control, psychological control and affection) and their own depressive symptoms. Overall, children whose parents exhibited a great deal of psychological control, or whose parents were depressed, were more likely to see close friendships end before sixth grade. The effects of these parental variables were above and beyond the effects of the children’s status among their peers. (Monitor on Psychology)

Susie Bean Gives