A father’s love as important to a child as a mother’s love

A father’s love contributes as much — and sometimes more — to a child’s development as does a mother’s love.

That is one of many findings in a new large-scale analysis of research about the power of parental rejection and acceptance in shaping our personalities as children and into adulthood.

“In our half-century of international research, we’ve not found any other class of experience that has as strong and consistent effect on personality and personality development as does the experience of rejection, especially by parents in childhood,” says Ronald Rohner of the University of Connecticut, who co-authored the new study in Personality and Social Psychology Review. “Children and adults everywhere — regardless of differences in race, culture, and gender — tend to respond in exactly the same way when they perceived themselves to be rejected by their caregivers and other attachment figures.”

Looking at 36 studies from around the world that together involved more than 10,000 participants, Rohner and co-author Abdul Khaleque found that in response to rejection by their parents, children tend to feel more anxious and insecure, as well as more hostile and aggressive toward others. The pain of rejection — especially when it occurs over a period of time in childhood — tends to linger into adulthood, making it more difficult for adults who were rejected as children to form secure and trusting relationships with their intimate partners. The studies are based on surveys of children and adults about their parents’ degree of acceptance or rejection during their childhood, coupled with questions about their personality dispositions.

Read article on Science Blog

Image: Gulf News

News category: Features.

  • Lynne Newington

    Cardinal Pell wrote a "selective" article in the same vein on Fathers Day sometime ago.
    "Fathers are a source of authority and bring a sense of worth and security to their children and a sense that the world is a safe place".
    He also includes "the example of loving and respecting his wife".
    No mention is made of the importance of fathers who are clergymen, refused rescripts of their vows, seeking Gods Will through manipulative superiors and forced to sign away their rights.
    It appears the technicality of Obedience can carry through to the grave if expedient, for Franciscans at least.

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