Segments in this Video

Theory about Child Development (03:21)


Author Judith Harris warns that parents have much less influence on their children's behavior than they think. She believes that most therapy is based on the false premise that "it's all the parents' fault." Childhood experts claim she is wrong.

Parents vs. Peer Group (03:44)

Self-appointed psychology expert Judith Harris takes on the psychology establishment with her theory that children are less affected by their parents than they are by their peer group. A Stanford psychologist backs her up. She uses twin studies and teen smokers to defend her position.

Counterarguments (03:58)

Eighth graders discuss parental and peer influences. Opposed to Harris's theories about child development, a child development researcher and author says Harris ignores research that does not agree with her premise. Harris and others discuss tragedies in which young people shoot their classmates and teachers.

Credits: Do Parents Matter? Judith Harris on the Power of Peers (00:11)

Credits: Do Parents Matter? Judith Harris on the Power of Peers

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Do Parents Matter? Judith Harris on the Power of Peers

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From the high chair to high school, parents have little impact on their children’s development—or so says Judith Harris, author of The Nurture Assumption. In this program, Ms. Harris talks with ABC News correspondent Sylvia Chase about her controversial theory of child development through adaptation to peer groups. Steven Pinker, director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at MIT, supports her hypothesis, while Harvard child psychologist Jerome Kagan strongly disagrees, citing her total lack of scientific credentials. (12 minutes)

Length: 12 minutes

Item#: BVL11301

Copyright date: ©1999

Closed Captioned

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