If a child feels rejected by its parents, be it the mother or the father, it can have a detrimental effect on its growth and development as a person later in life. Up until recently it was a mother’s rejection was considered to be more devastating on a child than the father’s but now new research has resurfaced showing that it’s the other way around, a rejection from the father is more deeply felt.
The new study’s author, Ronald Rohner from the University of Connecticut explains that in all the research on this topic up until now, scientists weren’t able to find any other experience that has such a powerful and consistent effect on the development of a child as parental rejection.
The study’s authors discovered that children who’ve been rejected by their parents or felt rejected are prone to anxieties and insecurities, and often become aggressive and hostile towards others. The rejection inflicts such a pain on the children that its effects are felt all the way through their adulthood, making it difficult for them to form relationships as adults.
The study further discovered that when a child feels rejection the same brain parts are activated as when physical pain is inflicted. Rohner adds that the big difference here is that that emotional pain can be re-lived again and again for years.
Furthermore, the study revealed that a rejection that comes from the father leaves a deeper scar on the child’s development than a rejection by the mother. They speculate that it’s possible the children are more affected by the behavior of the person they hold more influential, usually the father figure.
It’s still unclear why a paternal rejection leaves such a big impact on the child but it’s more than evident that the relationship between a child and his father, and its treatment has an unusually strong influence on the child’s development and personality.
The results from this study should be taken into account and motivate fathers to get more involved into their child’s emotional upbringing and realize that the love and affection a child gets from its father is just as important, if not more important, as the love from its mother.
Fathers usually are prone to shy away from showing emotions, love and affection because that’s how they were taught to behave. But this inability to express their feeling may be perceived as a rejection by the child, who seeks its father’s attention more than anything and influence its personality as an adult.
Rohner stresses that the study’s results should be taken into account and analyzed more carefully. Maybe finally this will help the medical institutions and schools realize that the father figure is just as important for the emotional well-being of the child and understand that it’s inappropriate to always blame the mother.