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Relationship between Parental Rejection and Loneliness

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Psychology
Wordcount: 2252 words Published: 13th Apr 2018

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  • Tazrin Akkas Zinia


In the literature there are many different dimensions such as acceptance, affection control, warmth permissiveness, restrictiveness, and demandingness about the child rearing attitudes or parental behavior. Children all over the world need a specific form of positive response (acceptance) from parents and others attachment figures. When this need is not met satisfactorily, children everywhere regardless of variations in culture gender, age or, other such defining conditions tend to report different types of behavior and attitudes.

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Humans have over the course of evaluation, developed the biologically based emotional need for positive response from parents and other attachment figures. This need includes an emotional wish desire, or yearning (whether consciously recognized or not) for comfort, support care, concern, nurturance and over all positive regard from people with whom they have affection bonds of attachment. For this reason, parental acceptance-rejection is an important part of children’s lives at different stages of their development.

Parents may be warm and loving or hostile and rejecting. Each pattern of parental behavior effects the personality development of children. According to interpersonal theory given by Sullivan (1953) the self system that is a person’s perception of self, is a significant component of personality, which develops through interaction with significant figures in the environment. In later life people respond according to this self system, whether people see the self as good or bad depends on their past perceptions.

Rohner gave his famous Parental acceptance-rejection theory, widely known as a theory of socialization which attempts to explain and predict the antecedents, correlations and consequences of parental acceptance and rejection throughout the globe. It focuses on four major issues, one of them is the behavioral, cognitive and emotional development of children and adult personality functioning. Every person has experienced the warmth and affection provided by someone important to him/her, who is called the parent not necessarily, mother and father.

This warmth and affection is a range from a great deal to none, where one end is named parental acceptance while the other one is termed rejection (Rohner, 2000a).According to the findings of a study conducted over worldwide love sample and American sample, parental hostility was significantly related to certain personality dispositions including hostility, negative self esteem and self adequacy, emotional instability, negative world view and dependency (Rohner).

“Parenting” means providing care, support and love in a way that leads to a child’ includes being responsible for the child physicals need. It means creating a nurturing environment of attention, encouragement thus parenting involvement. It also means providing guidance for the children. It also means providing guidance for the children. Thus parenting involves meeting the Childs physical, mental, emotional and social needs.

Both parental acceptance and rejection consist the warmth dimensions of parenting. According to PART theory, parental acceptance refers to the warmth, affection, care, comfort, concern, nurturance, support, or simply love that parents and others can feel and express toward their children, and others. Acceptance has two principle behavioral expressions: physical and verbal.

Physical expressions of acceptance include hugging, fondling, caressing, approving glances, kissing, smiling, and other such indications of endearment, approval, or support.

Expressions of verbal acceptance include praising, complimenting, saying nice things to or about the child or other person, perhaps singing songs or telling stories to a young child, and the like. A feelings and behaviors and by the presence of a variety of physically and psychologically hurtful behaviors and affects.

The most broadly accepted definition of loneliness is the distress that results from discrepancies between ideal and perceived social relationships. This so-called cognitive

Discrepancy perspective makes it clear that loneliness is not synonymous with being alone, nor does being with others guarantee protection from feelings of loneliness. Loneliness is the distressing feeling that occurs when one’s social relationships are perceived as being less Satisfying than what is desired. This entry describes how loneliness is conceived and measured; How loneliness is mentally represented; how loneliness influences thoughts, feelings, and Behaviors; and consequences of loneliness for health and wellbeing.

Loneliness is related to a number of personal characteristics including low self esteem, shyness, feelings of alienation, external locus of control and belief that the word is not a just place that are associated with depression .( Jones, Freeman, in press).

The term “depression’’ in the study refers to the central features of depressive to disorders, such as, depressed, mood, pessimistic ,thinking ,lack of enjoyment ,reduced energy and slowness. Of these, depressed mood is usually, but not invariably the most prominent symptom. (Gelder, Gath, Mayo and Cowen, 1996) some researchers showed that depression might have different manifestation in different cultures, for example, in an Indian study; it was found that depression had varied manifestations like depressed mood, anxiety, somatic, features, insomnia, obsessions etc (Puri etal, 1995).

Literature review

Stogdill (1937) said that, “The empirical study of parental acceptance-rejection has a history going back to the 1890s. It was not until the 1930s, however, that a more-or-less continuous body of empirical research began to appear dealing with the effects of parental acceptance-rejection.”

Among, different programs of research on acceptance rejection, the work of Rohner and colleagues are most highly developed. Almost 400 studies have been completed in more than 60 nations internationally, as well as in every major ethnic group of America (Rohner, 2004a).

Khaleque and Rohner, (2002a) experiment A meta analysis showed that, approximately 26% of the variability in children’s psychological adjustment and 21% of that is adult’s is accounted for by(parental as well as maternal) acceptance rejection.

Roher, Uddin, Shamsunnaher& Khaleque (2008) showed that, Among Japanese adult’s, remembered parental acceptance made an independent and significant contribution to men’s adjustment whereas only remembered maternal acceptance made an independent and significant contribution to men’s adjustment .

Chyung & Lee, 2008; Parmer & Rohner, 2005; Rohner & Khaleque, 2008, found several research findings and suggest that “remembrance of father’s (but not mother’s) acceptance in childhood are uniquely associated with variations in the psychological adjustment of adult people”

Varan Rohner & Eryuksel, (2005) conducted A study which is supports conclusions, from the preceding research, and thus suggests the possibility of a universal relation between individual’s mental health status and their perceptions of acceptance rejection by parents and intimate adult partners .

In addition to issues of psychological adjustment, evidence also strongly implicates at least three other mental health issues of parental acceptance rejection .these issues are(1)depression and depressed affect,(2)behavior problems including conduct disorders, externalizing behaviors, and delinquency, (3) substance (drug and alcohol) abuse (rohner & britner,2002).

Rohner & Veneziono (2001; 2000, 2003) concluted that father love(acceptance-rejection) is often as strongly implicated as mother love in the development of behavioral and psychological problems as well as in the development of offspring’s sense of health and well being .

Rationale of the study

Very few empirical investigations are available in Bangladesh context to highlight the relationship between parental acceptance-rejection and mental health problems .loneliness and depression are prominent psychiatric disorders in Bangladesh and so would be considered with priority. By this study we will be able to contribute to the understanding of the parents to appropriate parenting behaviors which are necessary for the good mental health for their children. And without good mental health they will be unable to contribute the future national developmental process. Furthermore this study will be able to enrich the PART theory.

Objectivity of the study

The purpose of this study is to investigate the relation of parental acceptance-rejection with loneliness & depression.

Considering above reviews and objectives of the study two hypotheses were formulated.

Hypotheses1: parental rejection would be positively correlated with loneliness.

Hypotheses2: parental rejection would be positively correlated with depression.


Research design

In present study, for investigating relation of parental–rejection with anxiety and depression, correlation and multiple regression analysis will be used.


A sample of 100 individuals will be used, 50 males and 50females. Their ages range from 20 to 50. At the time of this investigation, all of the participants are university students and studying different areas.

Instruments Demographic Information Form: It gathered information related to the personal life of the participants for example, age, gender, academic qualification, number of siblings, birth order, family system etc.

Adult Parental Acceptance-Rejection Questionnaire/Control: Father& mother-Short Form (Adult PARQ/ Control: Father &mother-Short Form, Rohner, 2005, Urdu translation by Munaf, Kamrani & Hussain 2009): It measures the adult’s perception of father’s and mother’s acceptance-rejection in their childhood. This 29 items self reported questionnaire measures five dimensions of paternal behavior that are coldness/lack of affection, hostility/aggression, indifference/neglect, undifferentiated/rejection and control, that can be rated on four-point Likert

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scale ranges from almost always true (4), sometimes true (3), rarely true (2) and almost never true (1).Its cumulative score indicates perceived father acceptance-rejection; score at or below the midpoint of test scores means acceptance while high score is indicative of rejection. According to Khaleque and Rohner (2002) it is an empirically validated instrument used by researcher and in clinical settings as reliable measures.

The revised UCLA loneliness scale was to develop to measure loneliness. It is a 20 items. Likert type scale.20 items of English version were translated into Bengali. The English and Bangla version were administered to 50 subjects with a gap of 7 days. Significant correlation [r48=.88,p>01] between scores of English and Bangla version indicated translation reliability of the scale that were measured the something by the two version . Each of the 20 items is scored such that a 1 indicates lack of loneliness and a 4 indicates high level of loneliness.

Adapted Bangla version of The Geriatric Depression Scale : GDS (Brink et al., 1982) would be used to measure depression of people. GDS is Geriatric ally oriented scale for depression. It consists of 30 items which include symptoms like lowered affect, inactivity, irritability, withdrawal, distressing thoughts, and negative judgments about past, present, and future. Each item is worded as a question and respondents are asked to reply in “yes” or “no” fashion. Each “yes” answer receives 1 point, except on reverse-scored items. Where “no” receives answer zero point. Ten items are reversed-scored. Total score of the scale ranges from 0 to 30 and a score of 0 to 10 is considered to be the range for normal no depression, scores of 11-20 indicate mild depression and 21-30 moderate to major depression. The reliability coefficient of split half (Spearman-Brown) was .81 and alpha (Cronbach) was .84 which were highly significant indicating the internal consistency of the scale.


The above instruments will be administered individually to the members of the sample. They will be informed of the purpose of the present study and necessary rapport will be established before administering the questionnaires. The respondents will be instructed to read the items of the scales attentively and to respond rapidly. They will be asked to give tick (√) mark in the appropriate box. They will be also requested not to omit any item in the questionnaire and will be talk to them no right or wrong answer and no time limit for answering.

Data Analyses

A descriptive analysis of the variables will be presented such as the respondents by age, sex, SES. Then, a multiple regression analysis will be carried out to see how much respondents’ loneliness and depression can be explained by the parental acceptance and rejection.


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