Background: Grounded in interpersonal acceptance-rejection theory, this study assessed children's (N=1,315) perceptions of maternal and paternal acceptance-rejection in nine countries (China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, the Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, and the United States) as predictors of children's externalizing and internalizing behaviors across ages 7-14 years.
Methods: Parenting behaviors were measured using children's reports on the Parental Acceptance-Rejection Questionnaire. Child externalizing and internalizing behaviors were measured using mother, father, and child reports on the Achenbach System of Empirically-Based Assessment.
Results: Using a multilevel modeling framework, we found that in cultures where both maternal and paternal indifference/neglect scores were higher than average-compared to other cultures -children's internalizing problems were more persistent. At the within-culture level, all four forms of maternal and paternal rejection (i.e., coldness/lack of affection, hostility/aggression, indifference/neglect, and undifferentiated rejection) were independently associated with both externalizing and internalizing problems across ages 7-14 even after controlling for child gender, parent education, and each of the four forms of parental rejection.
Conclusions: Results demonstrate that the effects of perceived parental acceptance-rejection are panculturally similar.
- Interpersonal Acceptance-Rejection Theory
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies