New Delhi: Teenagers look up to mom and dad, not Virat Kohli or Priyanka Chopra as role models, according to a survey of 1,350 children between the ages of 14 and 18, studying in schools in Delhi and the NCR.
The department of mental health and behavioral sciences, Fortis Healthcare, which conducted the study, examined role models among the youth and their influence on behavior.
40% of children mentioned a family member as a role model, showing that parents and family have the most significant influence on young minds.
After family, children look up to sportspersons, followed by film and television personalities.
“Surprisingly, most kids reported parents, mothers and fathers scoring equally as role models,” said Dr Samir Parikh, director, department of mental health and behavioral sciences, Fortis Healthcare.
Teenagers acquire new behaviours by watching others. “This observation of others’ behaviour, also called modeling, is an essential aspect of social learning,” he added.
Children learn their initial responses and behaviour by watching parents, but increased exposure to the media has led to their being shaped by film, sports and media personalities.
“One of the most significant findings from this study is the significant influence that families continue to exude in the minds of the youth, even during adolescence when peer influences can become paramount,” Parikh said.
This essentially implies that what family members do, children observe and tend to learn. Parents, can, therefore model healthy and adaptive behaviour and strengthen their communication with children to inculcate positive attitudes and behaviour.
Also, with changing fabric of our society, experts said interactions between children and grandparents must be encouraged.
“Presence of grandparents in a child’s life always has a healthy influence. It is important to have children to have a frequent interaction with their grandparents so that they remain connected to their roots,” said a senior doctor at the department of psychiatry, Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital.