The family atmosphere often plays an important role in an adolescent’s growth and development. Parents, considered as role models for children, exert a great influence on their behavioral health. A recent study has suggested that healthy relationships between parents and their teen children are vital for the latter’s development and well-being.
According to the study by researchers from the Pennsylvania State University, rejection from fathers may contribute to increasing social anxiety and loneliness among teens. The study looked at how parental rejection, along with the overall well-being of the family unit, was related to changes observed in an adolescent’s friendships, social relationships and feelings of loneliness over time.
For the study, the researchers focused on 687 families, each comprising a father, a mother and an adolescent who were examined at three points of child development — a child’s sixth, seventh and eighth grades. During the experiment, the researchers asked both the mother and father about their feelings of love, distrust and dissatisfaction with their child and measured rejection by mother and father separately. The parents were also asked about the overall family environment. In addition, the teens also reported their feelings of loneliness, social anxiety and quality of friendship.
The researchers concluded that while parental rejection was associated with poorer social adjustment, father’s rejection in sixth grade was found to be associated with an increase in social anxiety among teens when they reached seventh grade and an increase in loneliness in eighth grade. As per the study, fathers’ rejecting attitudes toward teens might contribute to making them more nervous about forthcoming social situations, leading to more social isolation and feelings of loneliness.
“We found that father rejection predicted increases in adolescents’ social anxiety, even when we controlled for social anxiety at an earlier time. In turn, this predicted increases in loneliness later on,” said lead author Hio Wa Mak. According to the researchers, the findings further reinforced the importance of father and child relationship and how this can also help formulate better intervention strategies, such as helping teens with social anxiety issues.
Seeking treatment for anxiety
A common mental health problem, anxiety disorders affect an estimated 40 million American adults at some point in their lives. An anxiety disorder can be defined as excessive fear or worry in non-threatening situations. Basis an individual’s symptoms and medical history, a certified treatment facility for anxiety disorder generally treats its patients with a combination of medication and therapy.
At Sovereign Health, we understand that family relationships are important to a patient’s psychological health. Therefore, we have made family therapy sessions an integral part of a patient’s treatment. At Sovereign, we encourage every family to take an active role in the patient’s recovery by attending both the family as well as weekend group sessions.
A leading behavioral health care provider, Sovereign Health’s state-of-the-art treatment facilities offer an intensive family program consisting of education, workshops, therapy sessions and support groups to help repair and maintain family relations that have been strained by addiction and mental health disorders. To learn more about our modern anxiety disorder treatment centers or understand the details of treatment facility for anxiety disorder, call our 24/7 helpline and speak to one of our admission specialists. You can even chat online with one of our representatives for further assistance.