Parental Rejection and Children’s Anger

This point is based on the reasonable hypothesis that parental rejection would engender anger in children. Few authors have studied this, but those who have appear to be convinced that the association is an important one. Dutton has found that abusive personality in wife assaulters is associated with recollections of parental rejection (e.g., Dutton, Starzomski, & Ryan, 1996). He has also found that recalled parental rejection and anger are associated with psychological abuse perpetration in women (Clift & Dutton, 2011). In Clift and Dutton’s (2011) model, parental rejection was associated with trauma symptoms and borderline personality which both led to anger and the perpetration of intimate psychological abuse. In a study of 104 adolescent violent offenders, Smith et al. (1999) found that parental rejection and physical aggression were significantly associated with trait anger. Over time, intense anger may direct attention, memory, and other cognitive processes and lead to chronic negative emotional states and cognitions that facilitate physical aggression and violence.

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