The Relationship between Adults’ Retrospective Accounts of Paternal Parenting and Psychological Health: The Mediating Role of Emotion Regulation

Prof Doc Thesis


Vogiatzis, Z. 2019. The Relationship between Adults’ Retrospective Accounts of Paternal Parenting and Psychological Health: The Mediating Role of Emotion Regulation. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsVogiatzis, Z.
TypeProf Doc Thesis
Abstract

The current thesis investigated the relationship between adult participants’ retrospective accounts of perceived paternal rejection, psychological health and the role of emotion regulation. The study was based on the framework of Interpersonal/Parental Acceptance-Rejection Theory (Rohner, 2014) and the Process Focused Emotion Regulation Model (Gross, 1998a; 1998b). The thesis objectives were twofold; (a) to critically review, confirm and extend previous research findings suggesting that paternal parenting significantly influence offspring’s psychological health and emotion regulation development (independently from mothers’ parenting) and (b) to explore whether the emotion regulation strategies of suppression and reappraisal significantly mediate the relationship between perceived paternal and maternal rejection and adult-offspring’s general psychological health problems.
The current research adopted a post-positivist framework and employed a cross-sectional quantitative methodology with a between subjects design that entailed hierarchical multiple regression analyses, and structural equation modelling. The analysed sample consisted of 1,117 participants (M = 35.8 years, range 18-76 years) of whom 902 were female (80.8%) and 215 were male (19.2%). The sample’s ethnicity was: 976 ‘White’ (87.4%) and 141 ‘non-White’ (12.6%) and their socioeconomic status (SES) was: 204 (18.3%) lower SES; 717 (64.2%) middle SES; and 196 (17.5%) higher SES. Finally, 322 (28.8%) of participants have had previous psychotherapy experience.
Results showed that higher perceived paternal rejection significantly predicted higher levels of adult-offspring’s general psychological health problems. In addition, results showed that higher perceived paternal rejection predicted participants’ higher suppression and lower reappraisal use thereby confirming and extending previous studies showing the significance of fathers’ influence, independently of mothers’ influence from childhood/teenage years to adult years. In addition, results showed that the emotion regulation strategy of suppression significantly mediated the relationship between perceived maternal and paternal rejection and general psychological health problems. However, the emotion regulation strategy of reappraisal significantly mediated only the relationship between perceived paternal (not maternal) rejection and general psychological health problems. These findings therefore not only highlight fathers’ importance in adult offspring’s general psychological health problems and emotion regulation strategies use but also suggest fathers’ unique role in offspring’s general psychological health problems through the use of reappraisal.
Contributions of the present study’s findings on literature examining fathers’ influences on children’s emotional and psychological development are discussed along with limitations, future research directions and clinical implications.

KeywordsFather-child relationship
Year2019
PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.15123/uel.875y6
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Publication dates
PrintNov 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited10 Dec 2019
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