Academic journal article Journal of Behavioural Sciences

Relationship between Depression and Attachment in Pakistani Children and Adolescents

Academic journal article Journal of Behavioural Sciences

Relationship between Depression and Attachment in Pakistani Children and Adolescents

Article excerpt

Perceived Parental Acceptance-Rejection (PAR) theory focuses on major causes, consequences, and correlates of parental acceptancerejection with an aim to predict and explain behaviours, (Rohner, Khaleque & Cournoyer, 2006). PAR researchers have shown that perceived parental rejection has negative effect on the psychological adjustment and behavioral functioning of both children and adults worldwide. The present research aims to investigate the relationship between depression in children and adolescents and perceived parental acceptance-rejection. The importance of the need for parental acceptance and consequences of rejection has been shown to be affecting a wide range of adult behaviours (Rohner, 2002). Children need warmth affection, positive response and acceptance from parents and their parent's attitude is important in emotional development and theninteraction with others. Parental acceptance rejection affects the social life and subsequent social relationships of their children. If children perceive acceptance, their future emotional and social needs would be fulfilled and vice-versa, (Rohner, Khaleque, & Cournoyer, 2006a, 2006b).

This also holds true for adolescences who may perceive acceptance or rejection. Adolescence is a highly sensitive period involving physical and psychological changes, of growth spurts, hormonal surges, and peer identity issues. Thus a range of problems in school in conduct self injury crime, and depression is reported even with those who had a normally stable childhood. Depression emerges as one of the most commonly seen but sadly under reported is disorder. Though most of the symptoms are similar to adults, some symptoms are unique for this age group, (Matas, Arend & Sroufe, 1978). It has been reported that as many as 5 per cent of children and adolescents experience potentially disabling depression before 19 years of age. In children and adolescents the expression may vary and symptoms differ by age. In younger children- physical complaints such as stomach aches and headaches, irritability, social withdrawal, and changes in eating and sleeping habits are more frequently reported. In adolescents, commonly reported symptoms of depression are, sad mood, sleep disturbances and lack of energy (Schwartz & Schwartz, 1 993).

Ko vacs (1985) reported that the clinically depressed youth as children have had disruptions in their relationships with their parents. Further, depressed children and adolescent are unwilling or unable to verbalize their difficulties, leading to parents with holding of emotional support guidance and expression of affection. If parents reject their children who appear withdrawn, it may exacerbate the feelings of rejection (especially in cultures where dependence of children and adolescents is normal. In Asian cultures, greater dependence of children and adolescents on their families and connections with other adults within their larger cultural context, depression is exhibited more with interpersonal problems as compared to the West (Sund & Wichestom, 2002). Therefore there is a need to understand if such a rejection is related to depression in the Pakistani context as well.

Additionally, it has been reported that children of depressed mothers appear more at risk for insecure attachment and disruption of emotional regulation, thereby increasing their vulnerability to depression (Cicchetti & Toth, 1998).

Perceived Parental Acceptance-Rejection (PAR)

For children, positive and accepting relationships with parents are particularly important as they leave an impact on their beahviour, interpersonal relationships and even relationship with God (Roher et al., 2006; Najam & Sidra, 2011). Research has shown that the quality of parent-child relationships characterized by parental acceptance (love) and rejection (lack of love) is a major predictor of psychological functioning and development for both children and adults across cultures (Rohner & Britner, 2002). …

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