Do you often hang up on your friends or talk about them behind their back? According to Science Daily, you may be unconsciously influencing your teenagers to treat their friends the same way.

University of Missouri doctoral candidate Gary C. Glick and Department of Psychological Sciences professor Amanda Rose surveyed adolescents from 10 to 17 years old and their mothers on separate occasions to measure their perceived positive and negative friendship values. The researchers found that negative friendship qualities were easily mimicked by teens.

"Mothers who display high levels of conflict with friends may signal to their children that such behavior is acceptable, or even normative in friendships," Glick explains. "Additional findings suggest that adolescents internalize their reactions to their mothers' conflict with adult friends which may lead to anxiety and depression."

Glick and his team believe that parents should try their best to become role models in interacting with people outside their families. “Parents should talk with their children about how to act with their friends, but specifically, how not to act,” he concludes.


(Screencap from New Year's Eve courtesy of Warner Bros.)

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