Coping With Remembrances of Parental Rejection in Childhood: Gender Differences and Associations With Intimate Partner Relationships

  • Ppudah Ki
  • Ronald P. Rohner
  • Preston A. Britner
  • Linda C. Halgunseth
  • Sandra A. Rigazio-DiGilio
Original Paper
  • 13 Downloads

Abstract

Grounded in interpersonal acceptance-rejection theory (IPARTheory), this exploratory study investigated a) major characteristics of affective copers and non-copers, b) the effects of acceptance by one parent insofar as it moderates rejection by the other parent, and c) the mediation effect of intimate partner relationships on the relation between remembered parental rejection and adults’ current psychological adjustment. The theory recognizes that the psychological adjustment of some adults who remember having been rejected by parents in childhood is not as seriously impaired as it is for the majority of individuals. These people are called affective copers in IPARTheory. The sample included 724 affective copers and 1121 non-copers, which are adults who remember having been rejected by their parents in childhood, and whose psychological adjustment is impaired in adulthood. Results of analyses revealed that for male affective copers, both maternal and paternal rejection were unique and significant predictors of adjustment, whereas for female copers, age and an interaction between remembrances of maternal and paternal rejection were significant predictors. For male non-copers, age, remembered parental rejection, and an interaction between maternal and paternal rejection were significant predictors of psychological adjustment. For female non-copers, in contrast, remembrances of both maternal and paternal rejection in childhood were significant predictors. Lastly, perceived partner acceptance-rejection mediated the relationship between remembered parental rejection in childhood and the psychological adjustment of non-copers, but not of affective copers. Results of this study inform the work of practitioners and prevention scientists working with adults who experienced serious rejection from their parents in childhood.

Keywords

Affective coping Resilience Intimate partner relationship Psychological adjustment Interpersonal acceptance-rejection theory (IPARTheory) 

Notes

Author contributions

P.K.: designed and executed the study, conducted the data analyses, and wrote the paper. R.P.R.: collaborated with the design and writing of the study. P.A.B.: collaborated with the design and writing of the study. L.C.H.: collaborated with the design and writing of the study. S.R.D.: collaborated with the design of the study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of institutional and/or national research committees, and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Permission to use the primary data for these secondary analyses was granted by the Director of the Rohner Center. Authors of the individual studies gave permission for secondary analysis when allowing the data sets to be archived in the Rohner Center.

Informed Consent

Not all countries where the research was conducted required or even expected respondents to provide informed consent. Informed consent was secured, however, in those countries where such consent was required. Passive consent was secured, however, in the other countries. That is, respondents were allowed to decline participation in the research if they chose to do so.

References

  1. Amato, P. R. (1994). Father-child relations, mother-child relations and offspring psychological wellbeing in adulthood. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 56, 1031–1042.  https://doi.org/10.2307/353611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Amirkhan, J. & Auyeung, B. (2007). Coping with stress across the life-span: absolute vs. relative changes in strategy. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 28, 298–317.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appdev.2007.04.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baumeister, R. F. & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117, 497–529.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.117.3.497.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Ben-Zur, H. & Zeidner, M. (1996). Gender differences in coping reactions under community crisis and daily routine conditions. Journal of Personality and Individual Differences, 20, 331–340.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0191-8869(95)00173-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Berndt, T., & Ladd, G. (1989). Peer relationships in child development. New York, NY: Wiley.Google Scholar
  6. Bogenschneider, K. (1996). An ecological risk/protective theory for building prevention programs, policies, and community capacity to support youth. Family Relations, 45, 127–138.  https://doi.org/10.2307/585283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Broderick, P. C. (1998). Early adolescent gender differences in the use of ruminative and distracting coping strategies. Journal of Early Adolescence, 18, 173–191.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0272431698018002003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Butler, L. D. & Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (1994). Gender differences in responses to depressed mood in a college sample. Sex Roles, 30, 331–346.  https://doi.org/10.1007/bf01420597.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Carroll, R. & Shaefer, S. (1994). Similarities and differences in spouses coping with SIDS. OMEGA, 28, 273–284.  https://doi.org/10.2190/6d89-bqju-mfxg-jywu.Google Scholar
  10. Clauss-Ehlers, C. S. (2008). Sociocultural factors, resilience, and coping: support for a culturally sensitive measure of resilience. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 29, 197–212.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appdev.2008.02.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Compas, B. E., Connor-Smith, J. K., Saltzman, H., Thomsen, A. H. & Wadsworth, M. E. (2001). Coping with stress during childhood and adolescence: problems, progress, and potential in theory and research. Psychological Bulletin, 127(1), 87–127.  https://doi.org/10.1037//0033-2909.127.1.87.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Eisenberger, N. I. (2012). Broken hearts and broken bones: a neural perspective on the similarities between social and physical pain. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 21, 42–47.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721411429455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Eisenberger, N. I., Leiberman, M. D. & Williams, K. D. (2003). Does rejection hurt? An fMRI study of social exclusion. Science, 302, 290–292.  https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1089134.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Feldman, S. S., Fisher, L., Ransom, D. C. & Dimiceli, S. (1995). Is “What is good for the goose good for the gander?” Sex differences in relations between adolescent coping and adult adaptation. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 5, 333–359.  https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327795jra0503_3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ford, J. D., & Russo, E. (2006). Trauma-focused, present-centered, emotional self-regulation approach to integrated treatment for posttraumatic stress and addiction: trauma adaptive recover group education and therapy (TARGET). American Journal of Psychotherapy, 60, 335–355.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Fraley, R. C. & Shaver, P. R. (2000). Adult romantic attachment: theoretical developments, emerging controversies, and unanswered questions. Review of General Psychology, 4(2), 132–154.  https://doi.org/10.1037/1089-2680.4.2.132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Frazier, P. A., Tix, A. P. & Barron, K. E. (2004). Testing moderator and mediator effects in counseling psychology research. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 51, 115–134.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0167.51.1.115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hazan, C. & Shaver, P. (1987). Romantic love conceptualized as an attachment process. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 511–524.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.52.3.511.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Hughes, M., Blom, M., Rohner, R. P. & Britner, P. A. (2005). Bridging parental acceptance–rejection theory and attachment theory in the preschool strange situation. Ethos, 33, 378–401.  https://doi.org/10.1525/eth.2005.33.3.378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Khaleque, A. (2001). Parental acceptance-rejection, psychological adjustment, and intimate adult relationships. Storrs, CT: University of Connecticut.Google Scholar
  21. Khaleque, A., & Rohner, R. P. (2002). Reliability of measures assessing the relation between perceived parental acceptance-rejection and psychological adjustment: meta-analysis of cross-cultural and intracultural studies. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 33, 87–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Khaleque, A., Rohner, R. P. & Laukkala, H. (2008). Intimate partner acceptance, parental acceptance, behavioral control, and psychological adjustment among Finnish adults in ongoing attachment relationships. Cross-Cultural Research, 42(1), 35–45.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1069397107309755.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal, and coping. New York, NY: Springer.Google Scholar
  24. Leary, M. R. (1999). Making sense of self-esteem. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 8, 32–35.  https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8721.00008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mahler, M. (1968). On human symbiosis and the vicissitudes of individuation.. New York, NY: International Universities Press.Google Scholar
  26. Mahler, M., & McDevitt, J. B. (1980). The separation-individuation process and identity formation. In S. I. Greenspan & G. H. Pollock (Eds.), The course of life’s psychoanalytical contributions toward personality development (V. 1): Infancy and early childhood. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.Google Scholar
  27. Masten, A. S. (1986). Humor and competence in school-aged children. Child Development, 57, 461–473.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.1986.tb00045.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Miller, S. M., & Kirsch, N. (1987). Sex differences in cognitive coping with stress. In R. C. Barnett, L. Biener & G. K. Baruch (Eds.), Gender & stress (pp. 278–307). New York, NY: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  29. Muthen, L. K., & Muthen, B. O. (2012). Mplus user’s guide (7th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Muthen & Muthen.Google Scholar
  30. Ripoll-Nuñez, K.J. & Carrillo, S. (2016). Adult intimate relationships: linkages between interpersonal acceptance-rejection theory and adult attachment theory. Online Readings in Psychology and Culture, 6(2). https://doi.org/10.9707/2307-0919.1149..Google Scholar
  31. Rohner, R. P. (1986). The warmth dimension: foundations of parental acceptance-rejection theory. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  32. Rohner, R. P. (2001). Intimate Adult Relationship Questionnaire.. Storrs, CT: Rohner Research Publications.Google Scholar
  33. Rohner, R. P. (2004). The parental “acceptance-rejection syndrome”: universal correlates of perceived rejection. American Psychologist, 59, 830–840.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Rohner, R. P. (2005a). Glossary of significant concepts in parental acceptance-rejection theory. September. https://csiar.uconn.edu/Glossary/
  35. Rohner, R. P (2005b). Parental Acceptance–Rejection/Control Questionnaire (IPAR/CQ): test manual. In: In R. P. Rohner, SpringerAmpamp; A. Khaleque (Eds.), Handbook for the study of parental acceptance and rejection (4th ed., pp. 43–186). Storrs, CT: Rohner Research Publications.Google Scholar
  36. Rohner, R. P (2005c). Personal Information Form (PIF) Test Manual. In: In R. P. Rohner, SpringerAmpamp; A. Khaleque (Eds.), Handbook for the study of parental acceptance and rejection (4th ed., p. 367). Storrs, CT: Rohner Research Publications.Google Scholar
  37. Rohner, R. P. (2008). Parental acceptance-rejection theory studies of intimate adult relationships. Cross-Cultural Research, 42, 5–12.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1069397107309749.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Rohner, R. P. & Ali, S. (2016a). The personality assessment questionnaire (PAQ). In: In V. Zeigler-Hill, & T. Shackelford (Eds.) Encyclopedia of personality and individual differences. New York, NY: Springer. 10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_55-1.Google Scholar
  39. Rohner, R. P. & Ali, S. (2016b). The parental acceptance-rejection questionnaire (PARQ). In: In V. Zeigler-Hill, & T. Shackelford (Eds.) Encyclopedia of personality and individual differences.New York: Springer. 10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_56-1.Google Scholar
  40. Rohner, R. P. & Britner, P. A. (2002). Worldwide mental health correlates of parental acceptance-rejection: review of cross-cultural and intracultural evidence. Cross-Cultural Research, 36(1), 16–47.  https://doi.org/10.1177/106939710203600102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Rohner, R.P., & Carrasco, M.A. (2014). Parental power and prestige moderate the relationship between perceived parental acceptance and offspring’s psychological adjustment. Cross-Cultural Research, 48(3).  https://doi.org/10.1177/1069397114528295.
  42. Rohner, R. P., & Cournoyer, D. E. (1975). Measurement of the antecedents and consequences of parental acceptance and rejection: reliability of two research questionnaires. Storrs, CT: University of Connecticut at Storrs.Google Scholar
  43. Rohner, R. P. & Khaleque, A. (Eds.) (2005). Handbook for the study of parental acceptance and rejection. 4th ed. Storrs, CT: Rohner Research Publications.Google Scholar
  44. Rohner, R. P. & Khaleque, A. (2010). Testing central postulates of parental acceptance-rejection theory (PARTheory): a meta-analysis of cross-cultural studies. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 2(1), 73–87.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1756-2589.2010.00040.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Rohner, R. P. & Lansford, J. E. (2017). Deep structure of the human affectional system: introduction to interpersonal acceptance-rejection theory. Journal of Family Theory and Review, 9, 426–440.  https://doi.org/10.1111/jftr.12219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Rohner, R.P., & Melendez, T. (2008). Parental acceptance-rejection theory studies of intimate adult relationships. Cross-Cultural Research, 42(1).  https://doi.org/10.1177/1069397107309750.
  47. Rohner, R. P., Uddin, M. K., Shamsunnaher, M. & Khaleque, A. (2008). Intimate partner acceptance, parental acceptance in childhood, and psychological adjustment among Japanese adults. Cross-Cultural Research, 42, 87–97.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1069397107310594.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Rohner, R. P. & Veneziano, R. A. (2001). The importance of father love: history and contemporary evidence. Review of General Psychology, 5, 382–405.  https://doi.org/10.1037//1089-2680.5.4.382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Saleebey, D. (1996). The strengths perspective in social work practice: extensions and cautions. Social Work, 41, 296–305.  https://doi.org/10.1093/sw/41.3.296.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. Showers, C. (1992). Compartmentalization of positive and negative self-knowledge: keeping bad apples out of the bunch. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 62, 1036–1049.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.62.6.1036.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Shure, M. & Spivack, G. (1982). Interpersonal problem-solving in young children: a cognitive approach to prevention. American Journal of Community Psychology, 10, 341–356.  https://doi.org/10.1007/bf00896500.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Sunley, R. (1955). Early nineteenth-century American literature on child rearing. In M. Mead & M. Wolfenstein (Eds.), Childhood in contemporary cultures (pp. 150–167). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  53. Tamres, L. K., Janicki, D. & Helgeson, V. S. (2002). Sex differences in coping behavior: a meta-analytic review and an examination of relative coping. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 6, 2–30.  https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327957pspr0601_1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Walsh, F. (2006). Strengthening family resilience (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Guilford.Google Scholar
  55. Werner, E. E. (1993). Risk, resilience, and recovery: perspectives from the Kauai longitudinal study. Development and Psychopathology, 5, 503–515.  https://doi.org/10.1017/s095457940000612x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Werner, E. E., & Smith, R. S. (1992). Overcoming the odds: high risk children from birth to adulthood. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  57. Zimmer-Gembeck, M. & Lockea, E. (2007). The socialization of adolescent coping: relationships with families and teachers. Journal of Adolescence, 1, 1–16.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2005.03.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyYonsei UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Human Development and Family StudiesUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

Personalised recommendations