Academic journal article Journal of Psychological and Educational Research

The Relationship between Perceived Parental Acceptance-Rejection, Personality and Behavioral Dispositions, and Executive Function in a Turkish Primary School Sample

Academic journal article Journal of Psychological and Educational Research

The Relationship between Perceived Parental Acceptance-Rejection, Personality and Behavioral Dispositions, and Executive Function in a Turkish Primary School Sample

Article excerpt

Introduction

Parental involvement and affection is a major factor in the emotional and social development of the child, which in turn affects the psychological self-assessment of the child. In relation to child development, it is important that children are raised in a supporting environment, with appropriate parenting and social support from others. Although the rate may change, development is sequential for all children (Aldgate, Jones, & Rose, 2006). Children's temperament and their behavior style will affect how others react to them, and shape the relationship, thus it can be said that the child is active in shaping his or her environment while interaction takes place. In this case, development is an interaction between the child and his or her social environment, and any aspect of child development, physical, emotional, psychological, social or educational, can be impeded and impaired in this process (O'Hagan, 2006).

Some of the major roles of parents is to guide and control the child permitting him/her to mature and gain autonomy (Crosson-Tower, 1999). Problems encountered in the family system can arise from failure to provide basic needs of family members such as food, shelter, protection and education; difficulties in dealing with developmental issues concerning the children, crisis situations such as illness, death, unemployment, and natural disasters. Relatedly, all humans have a need for positive responses such as love, approval, warmth and affection, from important people in their lives, and as defined by Rohner (1975), warmth/affection, hostility/aggression, indifference/neglect and undifferentiated rejection are the four universally defined classes which perception of acceptance and rejection are organized around.

Child maltreatment and parental acceptance and rejection

Child maltreatment is a multifaceted problem, and thus should be dealt in a holistic and multi-level way, no single dimensional perspective will be enough to explain the problem thoroughly. Theory, research, and social intervention is shaped by the legal-social definition of child abuse. Parents' wrongdoing and deviant behavior is central to this definition, which directs the focus on implicitly intending to harm the child, or being unable to protect the child (Wolfe, 1999). Feelings of anxiety, helplessness, stress, or feeling under siege and threatened may enhance the likelihood of showing abuse (Howe, 2005). Relatedly, child maltreatment and abuse should be handled with an integrative approach, whilst trying to understand family dysfunction and longterm consequences (Sesar, Zivcic-Becirevic, & Sesar, 2008).

A social psychological perspective in which, family, cultural, socioeconomic, and societal factors which are believed to shape the relationship between the parent and child, is crucial in order to broadly understand child abuse. Also, ecological risk factors should be considered together with the developmental stage and functioning of the child, in which, a family-centered focus is useful in understanding the problem thoroughly (Wolfe, 1999; Scannapieco & Connell-Carrick, 2005).

Children growing in an abusive, inconsistent and chaotic family environment are deprived of appropriate developmental opportunities (Wolfe, 1999). Also, instead of dividing parents as abusive or non-abusive, maltreatment can be seen on a continuum, where the beginning of the continuum starts from high levels of abuse and ends with parenting practices which improve children's social, intellectual and emotional development.

Neglect and emotional abuse is a major focus of the present study. Neglected children are at immediate risk due to unmet needs, which may cause harm to the physical well-being and health of the child and indirect dangers associated with lack of care and supervision (Daniel & Taylor, 2004).

Emotional abuse can result in a significant impairment of a child's competence, involving behaviors of parents, which make the child, feel worthless and unloved (Garbarino, 2000; Twaite & Rodriguez-Srednicki, 2004). …

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