With cyber-bullying becoming a growing problem for adolescents, parents have reason for concern. A study from Florida State University revealed Tuesday that parents play the most important role in preventing bullies.

The study used the suicide of Massachusetts teen Phoebe Prince as an example of how dangerous cyber-bullying can be in extreme cases, and how support at home can make a big difference.

The trial involved 426 adolescents, with 15 of them suffering various degrees of bullying. Researchers discovered that the main difference was from styles of parenting. Those who had “authoritative” parents did not suffer from the effects of bullying.

The study determined the reasoning behind the success of authoritative parenting is the ability to listen, provide solid support and guidance to children, but maintain a sense of authority. The result is children feeling respected and respecting parents in return, including their advice and assistance with cyber-bullying.

The study is published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence

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