As if we needed any more evidence that the way we raise our kids affects the way they walk (or drive) in the world, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Pediatrics, just published a well done study to show it. The authors reviewed almost 5700 responses by 9-11th graders to the 2006 National Young Driver Survey. Parents are divided into four parenting styles based on the kids' assessment:
1) authoritative(lots of support and lots of rules/monitoring)
2) authoritarian (lots of rules without the support)
3) permissive (lots of support but no monitoring)
4) uninvolved (none of any of it)
Of some concern is the fact that 19% of kids described their parents as "uninvolved." Compared with these kids, the children of authoritative parents had half the crash risk in the past year, were less likely to drive when intoxicated and were less likely to use a cell phone while driving. Interestingly, there was no significant difference between permissive and uninvolved parents.
So once more, we learn that parenting matters, and parenting style matters even more. Now if only we can figure out how to be authoritative without being a "helicopter parent."