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Study finds political beliefs shaped by early childhood parenting

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imagesMy oldest two girls were of voting age this past election, and I had been preparing them for this day their whole lives. It was easy when they were little: I could dress them in t-shirts with elephants that said, “Raised Right,” and the like. It got harder as they got older and faced the liberal indoctrination pervasive in schools.

On Sunday morning, my eldest was reading “The Week” and showed me an article about a new study that said, “liberal and conservative political beliefs are shaped by early childhood parenting environments.”

I have no idea why the obvious needed to be researched, but according to “Psychology Today,” the long-term study questioned 700 parents on their parenting style and the temperament of their children as infants. It then followed up with the children when they turned 18 to ask about their political beliefs on social and economic issues.

The study found that regardless of race, gender, intelligence or socioeconomic status,

Parents who tended to be more authoritarian in their parenting styles — beliefs that children should always obey their parents, or that children should be taught obedience — tended to have 18-year-olds with more conservative political beliefs. In terms of temperament, liberal 18-year-olds tended to be more restless and active as infants. In contrast, conservative 18-year-olds were more likely to have low attentional focus and high fearfulness as infants.

Take what you will from these results. In my home, I stressed obedience, but no way were my kids fearful or cautious 5-year-olds!

However, maybe we should stop hating on Sean Penn and Michael Moore and instead go have a chat with their parents.

Read the “Psychology Today” article here:


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