They love me, they love me not: a worldwide study of the effects of parental acceptance and rejection.

HRAF Press New Haven, Ct Published In Pages: 300
By Rohner, Ronald P.


The purpose of this book is to introduce a conceptual and methodological perspective called the "universalist approach," and to use this approach in exploring the pancultural antecedents and affects of parental acceptance-rejection of children,


Sample Used Coded Data Comment
Ethnographic ReportsCombination
Ethnographic Atlas (EA)Combination

Hypotheses (18)

“… mothers who are unable to escape the intensity of continuous interaction with their children are more likely to reject their offspring than are mothers who can get away from time to time, even if only briefly” (Rohner 1975: 169)Supported
“[Among the] constellation of personality traits that seem to characterize rejected children the world over [is] …negative self evaluation” (Rohner 1975:97)Supported
“…the more important fathers are as alternate caretakers, and the more accessible fathers are to their children, the more likely children are to be accepted” (Rohner 1975:169)Supported
“Accepted children tend to be more self-reliant than rejected children. …The trend regarding self-reliance also breaks down in adulthood …” (Rohner 1975: 102, 104)Supported
"…adults who were accepted as children are more generous and more responsible than those who were rejected" (Rohner 1975: 170)Supported
"The theory..predicts that the supernatural world..will be viewed as hostile and malevolent in societies where parents rject their children…" (Rohner 1975: 106)Supported
"…rejected children are more achievement-oriented than accepted children [but this relationship between achievement and parental aceptance-rjection breaks down in adulthood]" (Rohner 1975: 102, 104)Supported
". . . parental rejection in children, as well as in adults who were rejected as children, leads to: hostility, aggression, passive aggression, or problems with the management of hostility and aggression . . ." (168)Supported
". . . levels of cultural development . . . are also related to parental rejection-acceptance. The more complex a social system is, the more likely children are to be rejected" (117)Supported
". . . parents who are concerned about reducing such drives in their babies as hunger, thirst and unidentified discomforts are also liekly to give these children more love when they grow older than ar parents who fail to attend to these infantile needs as nurturantly" (170)Supported
". . . the more children are wanted before they are born the more they are loved after parturition. . . . [but this] forecast is . . . poorer for the warmth five years later" (118, 170)Supported
". . . rejected children are often more dependent than accepted children . . ." (101)Supported
". . . adults who were rejected as children tend pan-culturally to be emotionally unresponsive. . . . less emotionally stable. . . . [and to have a] negative world view . . ." (102, 103)Supported
"Where grandparents . . . are present as significant child-rearing agents, children tend to be given a fair amount of warmth . . ." (114)Supported
"A fairly strong relationship exists between parental behavior and two forms of subsistence economy: hunters accept their children and pastoralists tend slightly to reject their children . . . " (115)Supported
". . . intensity of the relationship between parental rejection-acceptance and specific personality traits . . . decreases over time . . . [except for dependency which does not] alter as time passes . . ." (104)Supported
"Our cross-cultural data support Minturn and Lambert's conclusion, in that a moderately strong tendency exists in polygynous societies for co-wives who live in the same house to reject their children more often that co-wives who live with their children in separate dwellings . . ."Supported
"Dependency may also be related to a rejected child's 'conflict over nurturance' . . . i.e. his conflict over positive desire to give succorance or love . . . and his fear . . . about committing himself emotionally and thus exposing himself to the threat of further rejection" (101)Supported

Documents and Hypotheses Filed By:Jessie Cohen