A new study looks at the role that tone of voice plays when communicating with teenagers.
The study, which Dr. Netta Weinstein of Cardiff University led, involved more than 1,000 people aged 14–15 years.
The study is the first of its kind to address how people respond to different tones of voice when they receive instructions from their mother.
Featuring in the journal , the study included 486 males and 514 females in the target age group.
The scientists randomly assigned each participant to one of three groups. They then played each group 30 recorded messages that mothers of adolescents had delivered. The words of the message were identical, but the women used three different tones of voice.
The importance of tone
The mothers delivered the messages in a tone of voice that was either controlling, autonomy-supportive, or neutral.
The team defined controlling tones as those that sounded like an attempt to push or coerce the subjects into taking a specific action, while the autonomy-supportive tone instead expressed encouragement and support.
The phrases were all specific instructions that centered around school or schoolwork, such as, "You will read this book tonight," or "It's time now to go to school."