Canadian parents more lenient than Italians and French

Thu Sep 2, 2010 12:08pm EDT
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By Bernd Debusmann, Jr.

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Canadian parents are more lenient with their children than mothers and fathers in France and Italy, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of Montreal, the University of Rennes in France and the University Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Italy discovered that Canadians are tolerant, Italians are demanding and the French are somewhere between the two.

"Our most important finding was the difference between Canadians and the others." said Professor Michel Claes, of the University of Montreal.

"Canadians focus on independence and negotiation. On the other hand, Italians, for example, have more constraining practices and exercise more control. We found Canadians seem to focus on negotiation in the case of conflict," he added.

Claes said Canada, France and Italy were selected for the study because they share important cultural and social factors.

"We chose French-Canadians because they share the same language as France, and originally came from France and share certain values. Italy was included because it was considered to have similar, strong, important family values," he explained.

The researchers, who published the findings in the Journal of Adolescence, examined the emotional bond between parents and their children by questioning 1,256 students aged 11 to 19 years old.

Canadian students reported less control and more permissive disciplinary actions, according to the study. Italian parents were constraining, stricter and more demanding and French parents were somewhere in the middle.   Continued...