Academic journal article Journal of Behavioural Sciences

Parental Acceptance-Rejection and Interpersonal Problems in Patients with Conversion Disorder

Academic journal article Journal of Behavioural Sciences

Parental Acceptance-Rejection and Interpersonal Problems in Patients with Conversion Disorder

Article excerpt

Parents are the guardians who nurture and raise a child. Parental influence is most notable in the areas of psychosocial development especially our interpersonal relationship with people. Parental dysfunctional attitudes have been reported to result in different inteipersonal problems in persons with mental health issues (Yoshizumi, Murase, Murakami, & Takai, 2007). Childhood adversities in dysfunctional families are seen to be strongly related to the onset of a disorder (Green et al., 2010). Conflicting family relationships, romantic relations and religiosity have been identified as the common factors associated with conversion disorder in Pakistan (Bokharey, 2007). The present study therefore aimed to examine perceived parental acceptance rejection and interpersonal problems in patients with conversion disorder in Pakistan.

Conversion disorder is a form of somatoform disorders, a group of disorders with the manifestation of physical symptoms without any underlying physical or organic pathology. In conversion disorder, a patient reports one or more symptoms or deficits affecting voluntary motor or sensory function that suggest a neurological or other general medical conditions (Comer, 2012).

Conversion disorder is a mechanism that is used for signaling distress, emotional problems and interpersonal clashes that are forbidden in a culture. According to Leary (2003), familial stress, feelings of rejection by parents, poor communication within the family members, grief and discontent at school are some of the environmental factors that predispose an individual to develop conversion disorder.

The social life of a child is greatly affected by his/her parent's attitude. The love and support provided by parents is helpful in adjustment of a child in his social and interpersonal life (Walter & Stinnett, 1971). Children need a positive response in the form of love, affection, respect, or acceptance by their caregivers. If these needs are not properly satisfied, the child may perceive him/herself rejected. This rejection can lead them towards many emotional and behavioral problems. Parental acceptance and rejection theory (PARTheory) basically is an evidence supported theory of life span development especially socialization that describes the causes, consequences and correlations of parental acceptance and rejection all over the world (Rohner, Khaleque, & Coumoyer, 2007).

PAR theory also suggests that when an individual feels rejected by some attachment figure they tend to respond in the same manner (Rohner, 2008). In the Pakistani context, usually strict parental practices are preferred. It is acceptable to punish children physically in order to discipline him/herself. Among parents, the father is expected to be an authority figure at home and thereby they may seem to be rejecting and controlling (Malik, 2012).

There are different methods that are used by parents to affect their children's social and interpersonal behavior. First, parents directly train their children to make them aware of adequate social behavior; second, children observe their parent and learn to act in a desirable manner in social events and places (Witmer, 1937). Sullivan's theory suggests that when human dynamics are misused then interpersonal relationships are disturbed and these inadequate relations pave the way to mental illnesses. Sullivan believed that to achieve and maintain mental health it is meaningful to become aware of interpersonal relationships (Evans, 1996).

Interpersonal theories (e.g., Horney, 1945; Leary, 1957; Sullivan, 1953) hypothesize that all people, from birth onward, connect or interact with others and every person's significant interpersonal experiences are representations (cognitively and emotionally) in the nervous system. According to them, the representations (schemas), in turn, guide and control the person's perceptions, thoughts, and feelings concerning current interpersonal situations with friends, marital partners, family members, co workers and so on (Horowitz, et al. …

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