Exploring psychological growth in adult offspring following perceived parental rejection in childhood
Thesis Professional Doctorate ...
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AbstractMuch of the research around the experience of perceived parental rejection (PPR) in childhood focuses on the predicted outcomes and negative impact on the adult throughout the lifespan. This study is mindful of the body of PPR research and offers originality in focusing on the literature pertaining to the enabling factors that facilitate psychological growth, in a small-scale phenomenological study. The research question was, ‘What are the enabling factors which lead to psychological growth in adult offspring who have experienced perceived parental rejection in childhood?’ The aims of the research are to add to the literature base that explores post-traumatic growth, in offering data and debate specifically linked to the phenomenon of PPR, and to make suggestions for practice and further research in this domain. In addition, there is a consideration of coping subtheory pertaining to Interpersonal Acceptance and Rejection theory (IPARTheory). Nine research participants, who self-identified as having experience of PPR in childhood, and who self-reported psychological growth in adulthood, were interviewed using semi-structured interviews. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) (Smith, Flowers, & Larkin, 2022) was used to elicit the depth and richness of the experience of both phenomena. Participants were encouraged to describe their childhood experiences with parental figures and the impact this had, before relating their experience of psychological growth. The process of IPA yielded four Group Experiential Themes (GETs): Experience of Rejection; Concept of Self; Conditions of Change and Experience of Psychological Growth. The Findings suggest that the inner resource of grit is instrumental to psychological growth and that the condition of safety in the social environment supports the development of greater resilience. The Findings are conceptualised in a salutogenic model. The Findings relate directly to counselling and psychotherapy practice and the wider spectrum of health and social care and service users, in that they enable greater understanding of the phenomenon of psychological growth following PPR, and the therapeutic conditions that may mitigate for the acute and chronic consequences predicted in the existent literature.
CitationClare, T. (2022). Exploring psychological growth in adult offspring following perceived parental rejection in childhood [Unpublished doctoral thesis]. University of Chester.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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