Correlates and Consequences of Anger at Their Children in Immigrant Turkish Women

By Kukulu, Kamile; Buldukoglu, Kadriye | Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, March 15, 2006 | Go to article overview

Correlates and Consequences of Anger at Their Children in Immigrant Turkish Women


Kukulu, Kamile, Buldukoglu, Kadriye, Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal


This study was conducted in order to determine and explain the anger of mothers in reaction to their relations with their children, as well as how to deal with this anger. The sample was taken from 539 volunteers living in Antalya, who were married women aged 15-49 with children. According to results of this study, fighting with other children, disobeying mother, needing interest and truancy were the main causes of anger for mothers. Statistically meaningful relations were found for the reasons of anger, their reactions to anger, coping methods, age of mother, education level and number of children. It was seen that mothers needed proper ways, parental education, methods and solutions in coping with anger.

Keywords: Turkish discipline, Turkish women, anger, coping strategies.

In Turkish culture, marriage and motherhood, while empowering women with social status, on the other hand place the responsibilities for their children on the mother, making her individual and social life harder. Generally, financial needs in the marriage are met by husbands. The woman assumes care of the children and individuals in the family. If she finds time, she maintains her social relations with her fellows.

A woman acquires all her knowledge and practice of motherhood from her living experience. Her role models are her mother and other mothers around her. Especially, for mothers with a lower education level who live in rural areas or slums, who are illiterate, and/or have few social relations, different styles of mothering are impossible. The typical profile of a squatter is a woman who is illiterate or a primary school graduate, with 67.5% nonworking, average marriage age 20.6 years (Southeastern & Eastern Anatolia, age 18.3 years). The mother who finds herself in a foreign culture through a domestic move confronts difficulties in establishing relations, habits, and living style (Navaro, 1999; Turkish Republic, 1998; Yamak & Yamak, 1997).

In Turkey, especially from the mid-1980s, because of better living conditions and security, there have been great domestic moves from Southeastern Anatolia to western regions (Sir, Bayram, & Ozkan, 1998). From a study by Yamak and Yamak (1999), it was seen that income imbalance played a considerable role in domestic moves in Turkey and this role originated from the high income level in urban areas. The reason for a move to an urban area was economic in 70% of cases (Çabuk, 2002; The State Planning Organization, 1999; Yamak & Yamak).

According to data of the State Planning Organization for 1999, during the years 1985-1990 there was a 90% move to Antalya, a Mediterranean city in Turkey. Most of the tourist revenue of Turkey comes from this city. There are many employment areas consisting of building construction and service sectors in Antalya.

Because of a domestic move, 28.2% of those settling in Antalya are housewives, children and others are unemployed. Of those who are in paid employment, 22.5% work in building construction, 19.9% are unqualified, 23.2% are in services, and 11.3% work in the industrial sector (Çabuk, 2002). Leaving a place means leaving the living styles, traditions, customs, practices, and neighbors. People who have left their homes feel themselves more powerless and become more vulnerable (Balcioglu, Doksat, & Tan, 2001). This is also the case for families living in slums. Parent-child relationships are central components of social life and are important in many ways for the well-being of both parents and children (Barber, Axinn, & Thornton, 1999). An emotion that parents frequently experience in their relations with their children is anger. Anger is targeted from child to parent, and also from parents to children (Clark, Novak, & Dupree, 2002; Jones, Peacock, & Christopher, 1992; Sedlar & Hansen, 2001). There are some studies of anger in Turkish women (Navaro, 1999; Thomas, & Atakan, 1993). Having an unemployed husband and responsibility for house management, making ends meet, care of children, the strains and burden of moving are the elements of anger. …

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