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Conservative Parents Raise Teens with Better Mental Health: Study

Conservative Parents Raise Teens with Better Mental Health: Study

Conservatives don’t need a study to tell them that actual, present parenting (termed as an “authoritative personal style”) leads to children with better mental health than the far-left “do whatever you want whenever you want it”-style.

The Bible makes that crystal clear.

But in case anyone needed any extra evidence, a Nov. 30 Institute for Family Studies report — which cited a June 2023 Gallup study of 6,643 parents and 1,580 adolescents — confirmed that, as the book of Proverbs 13:24 told us thousands of years ago, “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.”

The key finding of the study showed that teens with conservative or very conservative parents were much more likely to be classified as having “good or excellent mental health” compared to peers with liberal or very liberal parents.

The study showed that 77 percent of teens with conservative/very conservative parents reported positive mental health compared to only 55 percent with liberal parents or very liberal parents, per the IFS.


Lead researcher Jonathan Rothwell wrote in a blog post for the Institute of Family Studies that the quality of parent-child relationships and parenting approaches affected a teen’s mental health regardless of demographics like income, education level, or race.

Positive practices like displaying warmth while setting rules and boundaries were most closely linked to lower rates of poor mental health symptoms among adolescents.

“Income doesn’t buy better parenting, and more highly educated parents do not score better, either. Parenting style and relationship quality also do not meaningfully vary by race and ethnicity,” Rothwell wrote.

“As it happens, being raised by liberal parents is a much larger risk factor for mental health problems in adolescence than being raised in a low-income household with parents who did not attend college,” Rothwell concluded in the November report.

There were a couple of factors that, according to the research, did predict a higher probability of having a child with good mental health — politics and marriage.

Conservative and very conservative parents were most likely to employ effective parenting strategies tied to better mental health outcomes for teens. These parents tended to enforce discipline while also expressing affection and meeting their children’s needs.

Rothwell wrote in his blog post that in contrast to liberal parents, “conservative parents enjoy higher quality relationships with their children, characterized by fewer arguments, more warmth, and a stronger bond, according to both parent and child reporting.”

The second contributing factor to the good mental health of a child was, no surprise, marriage.

Parents with more positive perspectives on marriage as an institution, who felt it improves commitment in relationships and wished for their own children to someday wed, were more effective parents overall. Embracing traditional marital values across those factors was linked to superior parenting and higher-quality parent-teen relationships.

Rothwell pointed out that “solutions proposed by organizations like the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics—such as increased funding for diagnostic and psychiatric services have not met the surging mental health and suicide issues among adolescents.” Meanwhile, they continue to ignore one of the most important causes.

Since Dr. Benjamin Spock’s Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care came out in 1946, more parents began turning away from their own families and the Word of God and to current psychology for help in raising their kids.

What has resulted is what leading voices in mental health have referred to as a “Youth Mental Health Crisis.

Still, psychologists continue to push everything from prescription drugs to theories about socioeconomic equity and gender confusion.

When will the scientific community admit that their theories were wrong and accept that rules, discipline, and unconditional love are still the best way to raise kids who know who they are and are content with it?


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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