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Parenting linked to youth success

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The more involved parents are, the more likely American youth are to be healthy and productive at work and school, a new study says.

The report by America’s Promise Alliance surveyed 2,000 youth and 2,000 of their parents to analyze the connection between parental involvement and the well-being of children ages 12 to 17.

Kids with the strongest relationships with their parents are most likely to be physically healthy, have good school attendance and performance, and better workplace skills.

Overall, eight in 10 students surveyed reported having a mostly or very close relationship with their mothers, while seven in 10 reported the same with their fathers.

The study also identified a positive correlation between successful youth and the presence of what the Alliance calls the “five promises” in youth’s lives — caring adults, safe places, a healthy start, an effective education and opportunities to help others.

Successful youth were more likely to have more of the five promises present in their lives than their less successful peers, the study says.

Two in three youth with the highest level of parental involvement reported feeling safe and found constructive activities for their free time, the study says, while only two in 10 of those with the lowest level of parental support were appropriately occupied.

Youth must have at least four of the five promises to be successful, the report says, but fewer than one in three young people report having enough of the promises to feel confident about their futures.

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