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30-11-2017 | Original Paper | Uitgave 4/2018

Journal of Child and Family Studies 4/2018

Perceived Parental Acceptance-Rejection and Children’s Psychological Adjustment: The Moderating Effects of Sex and Age

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 4/2018
Auteurs:
Isabel Ramírez-Uclés, María José González-Calderón, Victoria del Barrio-Gándara, Miguel Ángel Carrasco

Abstract

Although numerous studies have confirmed the relation between parental rejection and the psychological adjustment of children, few have explored the potential moderating effects of children’s age and sex on this relation, nor considered maternal and paternal rejection separately. In order to further examine this relation, psychological adjustment and perceived parental rejection were examined among 983 school children aged 9–18 years (54% girls). The Personality Adjustment Questionnaire (PAQ) and the Parental Acceptance-Rejection Questionnaire (PARQ) were used. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted and post hoc analyses were performed to examine any significant interactions between the investigated variables. The results confirm that perceived rejection by both parents is significantly associated with several dimensions of children’s psychological adjustment. Moreover, this relation was moderated by children’s sex and age for some adjustment dimensions. Perceived parental rejection tended to have a more robust effect on daughters than on sons and on younger children (boys and girls) than on older children. In addition, maternal rejection contributed to a greater extent to the negative self-esteem and the negative self-adequacy of younger children compared to older children. Besides, paternal rejection contributed to a greater extent to the emotional instability and the negative self-adequacy of girls compared to boys. Understanding this relation and its moderators at early stages can help design accurate prevention and intervention programs within a family setting. This knowledge will help professionals focus on specific and suitable adjustment dimensions according to a child’s sex and at an appropriate stage of the developmental process, and help children avoid the development of future negative psychological outcomes.

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