Parenting styles affect childhood development

Healthy family relationships and positive parenting can reduce the risk of future long-term unemployment and alcoholism, according to an international study.

Professor Lea Pulkkinen from the University of Jyväskylä in Finland will present her findings in her keynote address at the Australian Psychological Society's 43rd annual conference, 'Psychology Leading Change,' in Hobart this week.

The 40-year longitudinal study followed 196 boys and 173 girls, from ages
eight to 42.

"Parents can encourage healthy development by creating a safe atmosphere for their children, taking an interest in their activities, being trusting, warm, and considerate of their opinions. Respecting children as individuals, avoiding unjust discipline and physical punishment, are also very important," she said.

<ends>

To coordinate an interview with Professor Lea Pulkkinen, please contact Elaine Grant on 0412 683 068.