Tags: father | child | personality

Father's Influence Shapes Personality

Thursday, 14 June 2012 01:28 PM

Just in time for Father’s Day, a new psychological study has found that a dad’s influence shapes a child’s development and progression into adulthood as much as – and sometimes more than – a mother’s love.
The research, published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Review, is one of the first large-scale studies to demonstrate the power of paternal acceptance and rejection in molding personalities of children in ways that last into adulthood.
"In our half-century of international research, we've not found any other class of experience that has as strong and consistent effect on personality and personality development as does the experience of rejection, especially by parents in childhood," said researcher Ronald Rohner, of the University of Connecticut. "Children and adults everywhere — regardless of differences in race, culture, and gender — tend to respond in exactly the same way when they perceived themselves to be rejected by their caregivers and other attachment figures."
Rohner and colleagues analyzed 36 studies involving more than 10,000 participants. They found children who felt rejected by their parents are more anxious, insecure, hostile and aggressive toward others well into adulthood. Children with unsupportive parents as children also have a harder time forming secure and trusting relationships as adults.
In comparing impact of a father's love vs. a mother’s, Rohner said more than 500 studies suggest the influence of one parent's rejection — oftentimes the father's — can be much greater than the other's. One possible explanation: Children pay more attention to whichever parent they perceive has higher interpersonal power or prestige. So if a child thinks her father has more prestige, he may be more influential in her life than her mother.
An important take-home message: Fatherly love is critical to a person's development, Rohner said. He added the findings should motivate men to become more involved in nurturing child care and reduce the incidence of what he called "mother blaming" for children’s behavioral problems.
"The great emphasis on mothers and mothering in America has led to an inappropriate tendency to blame mothers for children's behavior problems and maladjustment when, in fact, fathers are often more implicated than mothers in the development of problems such as these," he said.

© HealthDay

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Research finds a dad’s influence shapes a child’s development as much as, or more than, a mother’s love.
Thursday, 14 June 2012 01:28 PM
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