Study: Engaged Listening May Help Teenagers Open Up

According to a new study from the University of Reading in the UK, engaged listening techniques, which include eye contact, nodding, and using keywords to praise openness helps teenagers when they admit bad behavior and share their feelings with parents.Study Engaged Listening May Help Teenagers Open Up

For their study, a team of researchers asked 1001 participants aged between 13 and 16 years to watch a staged conversation between a parent and teenager about a difficult situation, with the parent using different body language and listening behavior in different versions.

Those who watched the situations where the parent was visibly attentive stated that they would have felt better about themselves as the teenager and would be more likely to open up about their feelings again in the future.

One of the lead researchers Dr. Netta Weinstein, associate professor in clinical and social psychology at the University of Reading, says: “This study shows that in parent-teenager relationships, quietly listening to a teenager while showing them they are valued and appreciated for their honesty has a powerful effect on their willingness to open up.”

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