The relationship of parental acceptance/rejection to hope and shame in adolescents

Nancy May Hodgkins (2001)

The purpose of this study was to determine if a significant relationship existed between adolescents' perceptions of their parents as accepting/rejecting and levels of shame and hope. Forty-one male and fifty-seven female predominantly Caucasian adolescents from a rural New England town participated in the study. Their ages ranged from 13-19 with 98% being between the ages of 15-18 (mean age 16.4). These 10th through 12th-grade students completed the following measures: (a) Test of Self-Conscious Affect-Adolescents (TOSCA-A); (b) Parental Acceptance Rejection Questionnaire (PARQ); (c) Children's Hope Scale; (d) Hunter Opinions and Personal Expectations Scale (HOPES); and (e) Crandall's Social Desirability Scale (CSDTC). Correlational analyses and multiple regressions were utilized to analyze the test hypotheses. In summary, the current research shows that (a) Perceptions of paternal rejection were significantly correlated with levels of shame in male but not female adolescents; (b) Overall, results showed significant correlations between parental acceptance and hope; (c) The relationship between shame and hope is complex with results not supporting a negative correlation between the two variables; and (d) Overall, parental acceptance is a better predictor of global personal hopefulness than social desirability. Given these findings, further investigation is warranted to more deeply understand how the parent-child relationship plays an important role in the development of hope and shame in adolescence. The emergence of gender-related differences in this research highlights the need for further attunement of measures and future exploration of the parent (mother, father) and adolescent (son, daughter) dyad.