Education & Family

Teens 'row more often with mothers', statistics suggest

Teenager arguing Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Mothers tend to be around the home more than fathers

Teenagers in the UK quarrel more often with their mothers than with their fathers, official statistics suggest.

The Office for National Statistics figures suggest 25% of 16- to 21-year-olds row with their mother more than once a week.

Only 16% argue with their fathers more than once a week, the figures indicate.

Youngsters are also more likely to confide in their mothers than their fathers. Some 67% spoke to their mothers and 50% with their fathers.

These statistics were based on results of the 2011 UK Longitudinal Household Survey, which captures information on the social and economic circumstances of people living in 40,000 UK homes.

They are featured in Measuring Well-Being - Exploring the Well-Being of Young People in the UK. just published by the ONS.

'Harder to connect'

Lucie Russell, director of campaigns at mental health charity YoungMinds, said: "These figures are a reflection of working patterns, meaning mothers are generally around and available more for their teenagers.

"It is is also illustrative of how on the whole mothers are more emotionally tuned into and connected with their teenage children.

"This doesn't mean fathers have less of a role to play or care any less than mothers, but often it's harder for them to connect and therefore they are less involved in quarrels and disagreements.

"We see this in terms of calls to our parents' helpline, as do other helplines, which overwhelmingly get more calls from mothers than fathers when they are struggling to support their children."

The report also stresses the importance of good communication and healthy relationships for wellbeing, citing academic research that says: "People who have close friends and confidants, friendly neighbours and supportive co-workers are less likely to experience sadness, loneliness, low self-esteem and problems with eating and sleeping."

However, other statistics, gathered in the Annual Population Survey for the ONS in 2013-14 and forming part of the report, suggest the vast majority (74%) of 16- to 24-year-olds feel they have high levels of happiness.

But the report added: "Young people who reported being relatively dissatisfied with life overall were 1.5 times more likely to quarrel with both parents more than once a week than those who were relatively satisfied with life."

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