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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 March 2007, 09:23 GMT
Rowing parents 'affect' children
Image of upset children
Rowing parents may lead to children having academic problems
Children who blame themselves for their parents' relationship difficulties are more likely to have academic problems, Cardiff University research has found.

Psychologists involved will now survey 3,500 parents, children and teachers in Wales to discover why pupils whose parents argue under-perform in school.

Gordon Harold, who led the research, has also been asked to advise ministers on child welfare policy.

Children's charity NSPCC said it was happy the issue had been recognised.

In a series of studies, Dr Harold and his team found that children adapted differently to parental conflict, depending on how they understood it.

In particular, self-blame had an effect on a child's Key Stage 3 test results at age 11 to 14.

Dr Harold has now been asked to advise on child welfare policy by both the Welsh Assembly Government and the Home Office in the light of the research.

His all-Wales study will be funded by the children's strategy division of the assembly government.

Parental conflict

Dr Harold said: "Our research shows that a child's understanding of the causes, course and consequences of parental conflict can have a significant effect on their development.

"We are hoping that these new Government projects, taken together, will advance strategies for improving the well-being of children across Wales and the United Kingdom."

The study will look at the impact of family factors on the transition from primary to secondary school and long-term academic achievement.

An NSPCC spokesman said the research would help parents realise that rowing could have a lasting effect on their children.

"We have a role as parents to recognise that things we don't think of as important - such as arguments between ourselves - can have an impact on our children's' lives," he said.

"We support the research and hope solutions can be developed from it."




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Parents urged to talk to children
07 Feb 07 |  Education

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