Peer pressure stronger than parents

April 27, 2007

A U.S. psychologist says children learn more from their peers than from their parents.

Judith Rich Harris says a child who grows up in a disciplined household is just as likely to become unruly as one raised in a chaotic home, if the child mixes with poorly behaved classmates at a young age, The London Telegraph reported Thursday.

The British government has unveiled plans for a national "parenting academy" that will lead research into raising children and create classes to improve the bond between fathers and sons.

Harris said outside influences "such as popular culture, friends or street gangs have a much greater influence on children than family life or even genetic make-up," the newspaper said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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