Quebec parents more lenient than peers in Italy, France: study

They may be of a common age, but when it comes to dealing with Mom and Dad, it seems some teens in Canada are given more freedom by their parents compared to peers in France and Italy, a new study suggests.

MONTREAL — They may be of a common age, but when it comes to dealing with Mom and Dad, it seems some teens in Canada are given more freedom by their parents compared to peers in France and Italy, a new study suggests.

Researchers in the three countries conducted a study comparing two major aspects or dimensions of parenting — emotional bonding and control — as perceived by youngsters between the ages of 11 and 19.

Teens surveyed in Quebec, France and Italy were selected for the comparison because they have a number of social and cultural factors in common, including Latin languages, the Catholic religion and advanced industrialization.

A cross-sectional sample of more than 1,200 adolescents of both genders whose parents were born in their respective countries of residence filled out a questionnaire. Respondents included 522 teens from Montreal, 336 from the French city of Rennes and 398 Italians from Milan.

The study, published in the Journal of Adolescence, looked at teens’ perception of their emotional bonding with their mother and father, using measures associated with the concept such as communication and frequency of conflict.

Researchers from the University of Montreal, the University of Ottawa, Universite de Rennes in France and Italy’s Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore also explored the perception of adolescents of behavioural control as exerted by their parents.

This involved using measures like the presence of rules, tolerance of friend-related activities and disciplinary actions when rules aren’t respected.

Researchers found that compared to their European counterparts, the Canadian teens reported less behavioural control, more permissive disciplinary actions and more tolerance of friend-related activities from their mothers and fathers.

When it came to emotional bonding with moms, there were no differences among the three countries, with each respective nation perceiving mothers as “affectionate, warm, and communicative.”

The same goes for Canadian and Italian dads who were perceived as displaying “high levels” of both emotional bonding and communication.

However, the researchers wrote that analysis of the data yielded an “unanticipated trend” — that Italian moms and dads were seen as the most strict when it came to parental behavioural control, and more demanding in terms of family rules and authorizations.

What’s more, Italian parents were seen by their teens as taking more punitive actions when rules were broken and being far less tolerant of friend-related activities. They were also perceived to maintain rules requiring teens to ask for authorizations or permission for things until a later age.

“Although both Canadian and Italian adolescents perceive high levels of emotional bonding with their mothers and fathers, their perceptions of their parents’ behavioural control are quite different,” the researchers wrote.

“There are lower levels of rules, more tolerance and permissiveness perceived in Canadian parents, while there are more requirements, less tolerance, and stricter disciplinary actions perceived in Italian parents.”

Compared to Canada and Italy, the profile of French fathers exhibited lower levels of emotional bonding and communication, as well as more frequent conflict.

So what accounts for the differences among perceived parenting styles in the three countries? Researchers seem to suggest that North America’s emphasis on individualism and independence may be the difference.

While the Canadian participants may be French-speaking and live in the “cultural and socially distinct context” of Quebec, they’re seen as sharing “the individualistic and independent values that characterize North American culture.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(File photo by Advocate staff)
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivers a statement after a meeting of the college of commissioners at EU headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday, April 14, 2021. EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen announced plans Wednesday for a major contract extension for COVID-19 vaccines with Pfizer stretching to 2023. (John Thys, Pool via AP)
EU reaches major climate deal ahead of Biden climate summit

Provisional deal reached after officials negotiated through the night

Mountain Men’s Barbershop co-owners Laura-Lee Gambee, left, and Heidi Forster pose in their Collingwood, Ont., shop in an undated handout image. Small business owners and the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses say companies started in the months leading up to COVID-19 or those that opened during the pandemic don’t qualify for the recently-extended rent or wage subdies or a new hiring subsidy the government announced Monday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Kiley VanderMeer
New, young small businesses left out of federal budget want more aid: CFIB

Eligibility requirements for subsidies need improving

Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett takes her seat as she wait to appear before the Indigenous and Northern Affairs committee in Ottawa, March 10, 2020. Federal officials are facing calls for greater clarity on how a proposed new law to harmonize Canada’s laws with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People could affect future development projects and government decisions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Feds pressed to define ‘free, prior and informed consent’ in UNDRIP bill

UNDRIP bill mandates government adopt more inclusive approach

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy www.medicago.com)
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

FILE - Ted Nugent performs at Rams Head Live in Baltimore on Aug. 16, 2013. Nugent revealed he was in agony after testing positive for coronavirus — months after he said the virus was “not a real pandemic.” “I thought I was dying,” Nugent says in a Facebook live video posted Monday. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP, File)
Ted Nugent, who once dismissed COVID-19, sickened by virus

Rocker a supporter of ex-President Donald Trump

Gwynne Dyer
Bolsonaro: Suicide by COVID

‘Rounding into the home stretch, it’s Italy by a full length, then… Continue reading

Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Red Deer, June 28, 1990. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer and the Royal Family

The recent passing and funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks' Tanner Pearson, right, celebrates after scoring against Toronto Maple Leafs goalie David Rittich during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Pearson, Sutter each score twice as Canucks dump Leafs 6-3

Pearson, Sutter each score twice as Canucks dump Leafs 6-3

Everton's Gylfi Sigurdsson celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's second goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Everton and Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park in Liverpool, England, Friday, April 16, 2021. (Peter Powell/Pool via AP)
Super League collapses after the 6 English clubs withdraw

Super League collapses after the 6 English clubs withdraw

Most Read