Study: Yelling at teens can be as bad as hitting them

WASHINGTON – So you don’t spank your kids. But you may be hurting them anyway by yelling at them.

A new study says every time parents shout, curse or hurl insults at their teenagers, the effect can be as bad as hitting them, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Michigan found that 13-year-olds whose parents used higher levels of harsh verbal discipline had more behavioral issues the next year like fighting with other kids and lying to their parents. Some kids exhibited symptoms of depression.

A study co-author says teens are still finding their self-identities and yelling only hurts their self-image.

And the study — published online in early September on the website of the journal “Child Development” — says it doesn’t matter how warm your relationship is outside the yelling events.

Instead of yelling, an expert suggests taking away privileges like limiting the time they can spend online or taking away the car keys.

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