A Father’s Love
Just in time for Father’s Day, a new study published yesterday in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Review examines the effect fathers have on their children. Researcher Ronald Rohner of the University of Connecticut performed a meta-review 36 studies on fatherhood from around the world. He focused on how their acceptance or rejection of children by their father affects the personality development of the child. Dr. Rohner writes, “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.” Rohner goes on to claim that the effects of a father’s rejection on personality development can be even stronger and more influential than the effects of a mother’s rejection. One possible explanation for this disparity is that children tend to view their fathers as more powerful or dominant than their mothers.
Rohner found that children who feel rejected by their fathers are more likely to feel anxious, insecure, angry, and aggressive. As these children grows into an adult, they may have difficulty forming secure, healthy relationships with peers and romantic partners. Rohner also found some interesting similarities between the brain’s experiences of rejection and its experiences of physical pain.
Have you ever felt rejected by your father? Is Father’s Day bringing up difficult or painful memories? Are you preparing to become a father yourself? Call (415) 658-5738 or visit my Appointments page to set up a consultation.