London, Sep 4 (IANS) Middle-class parents with a habit of shouting at their teenage children could be actually increasing their kids' risk of depression and troubled behaviour, says a US study.
Published in the journal Child Development, the study stated even if parents enjoyed a close relationship with their son and daughter, harsh verbal discipline was found to have a dramatic impact on emotional development of the teenagers, Daily Mail reported Wednesday.
It says this form of discipline can vary from yelling and shouting at a child, to swearing and using words to humiliate them.
Scientists, examining 976 two-parent families in the US, the majority of which were middle-class, found that many shifted from physical to verbal discipline as their children entered adolescence.
It was also discovered that more severe forms of harsh verbal discipline were commonplace, and directed at teens in nearly half of the households.
The researchers found if parents use such punishment when their child is 13, the teenager was more likely to have behavioural or emotional problems later.
These youngsters tended to suffer more depressive symptoms between ages 13 and 14 than children who were not disciplined in this manner, while they were also more likely to have conduct problems such as misbehaving at school, lying, stealing, or fighting.
"This is one of the first studies to indicate that parents' harsh verbal discipline is damaging to the developing adolescent,: said lead researcher Ming-Te Wang, assistant professor of psychology in education at the University of Pittsburgh.