Researchers in the Netherlands have been looking at the way values are transmitted within families and have found that it is a more complex process than a simple handing down from parents to children. The 10-year study of 295 families used written interviews with fathers, mothers and children. It found that some values were mainly passed to children from their fathers, while others were mainly transmitted by mothers. Fathers tended to be more influential in passing on values about work while mothers were more important in passing on ideas about self-determination. But mothers also influenced fathers in terms of values relating to the enjoyment of life and having fun. Adolescents influenced their parents' work ethos and influenced their fathers' values about the enjoyment of life. Surprisingly boys had much more influence on family values than girls.
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