A project of the Child Trends News Service supported by the National Science Foundation

Coaching Kids Through Middle School

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire)—Middle school brings a host of social obstacles for kids. Nearly one in every three kids in the United States says they have been bullied at school and most of the bullying happens in middle school. So how can you help your child work through difficult issues?

Researchers from the University of Illinois studied about 100 kids as they transitioned from 5th to 6th grade. They gave them questionnaires and observed conversations between the students and their mothers about real peer stress situations.

Results showed not all the kids benefited from the same types of parental coaching because they responded differently to stress. For example, the youth who were more stressed about an issue benefited more when their moms encouraged them to be self-reliant and use their own problem-solving strategies. On the other hand, those who were not as stressed did better when their moms gave them specific advice for how to manage situations. So, your child’s stress response might be the key to helping you coach them.

Experts say the results of this research build on existing studies that show the success of parental involvement and advice-giving in middle school depends on other factors in this case, the stress reactivity of kids.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Julie Marks, Writer; Roque Correa, Editor.

Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. 

(Sources: https://www.stopbullying.gov/resources/facts, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/12/191218153402.htm)

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