Experiences with Parental Aggression During Childhood and Self-Concept in Adulthood: The Importance of Subjective Perceptions
Journal of Family Violence
That individuals' realities are subjectively constructed is a basic, fundamental concept in psychology. However, past research examining child maltreatment in relation to psychological functioning has only investigated the frequency with which parental aggression occurs. Here, adults' perceptions of the abusiveness of their parents' aggressive behaviors during childhood were investigated as a predictor of current self-concept. Participants (N = 119) completed questionnaires assessing the extent to which they experienced parental aggression during childhood, their subjective perceptions of their parents' behaviors, and their current self-concept. Results indicated that how participants perceived their parents' aggressive behaviors was a more important predictor of self-concept than was the frequency with which those aggressive parental behaviors occurred. How individuals characterize their experiences with parental aggression should be taken into account when examining the psychological effects of aggressive parental behaviors.
C L. Giant and Lesa Vartanian (2003).
Experiences with Parental Aggression During Childhood and Self-Concept in Adulthood: The Importance of Subjective Perceptions. Journal of Family Violence.18 (6), 361-367.