If you are a mother who feels that your college-going child would choose friends over you, you may be wrong. According to a study, you may be underestimating his/her loyalty towards you.
Young adulthood is a developmental phase when individuals must navigate a changing social milieu that involves considering how their decisions affect others such as parents and peers.
But, the study showed that when forced to make a decision that benefited either a parent or a close friend, young adults were more likely to choose their parents.
The bias toward parents occurred equally among older participants as well as the younger ones, and were also consistent between men and women.
"Our study suggests mother still matters," said Jennifer Silvers, Assistant Professor at the University of California in Los Angeles, US.
"Parents continue to have an enduring impact on their children as they become adults -- and on their decision-making," she added.
The study, published in the journal Psychological Science, involved 174 people between the ages of 18 and 30.
The participants played two runs of the Columbia Card Task - one in which gains benefited a parent and losses were incurred by a friend and another in which the opposite was true.
The results showed that individuals were more likely to make decisions that benefited a parent at the expense of a friend. While relationship quality and reward type moderated this effect, whereas age did not.