Father-child separation, retrospective and current views of attachment relationship with father, and self-esteem in late adolescence

Psychol Rep. 2000 Jun;86(3 Pt 1):827-34. doi: 10.2466/pr0.2000.86.3.827.


Relationships between paternal separation in childhood and adult measures of self-esteem, paternal acceptance and independence-encouragement were investigated with 236 nonparent college students as subjects. Current relationship with father was measured by a modified version of Epstein's Mother-Father-Peer Scale. Self-esteem was measured by Coopersmith's Self-esteem Inventory. Individuals who experienced separation for all reasons from their fathers during childhood recounted less acceptance by their fathers in late adolescence but not less independence-encouragement. Individuals whose parents had divorced (whether or not they had experienced a significant separation) reported lower acceptance by their fathers in both childhood and in late adolescence, and they attained lower scores on self-esteem.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Divorce / psychology
  • Father-Child Relations*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Individuation
  • Male
  • Object Attachment*
  • Paternal Deprivation*
  • Personality Development*
  • Personality Inventory
  • Self Concept*