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ERIC Number: ED226821
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Jul
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Overemphasis of "Mother Role" and Development of the Child.
Niemela, Pirkko
Results of a longitudinal study provide several insights into the idealization of motherhood, the idealization of mothers' relationships with their children in the years from 1 to 4, and the development of children of women who idealize motherhood. In the mother, idealization is associated with low self-esteem, denial of ambivalent feelings and concomitant indirect somatic and emotional expression of ambivalence, denial of aggression and feelings of anger, overpossessiveness, and dependency on the child. Children of idealizing mothers are more restless, more clinging, and less capable of concentrating than are other children; they also seem to be less secure. Children of idealizing mothers also score high in aggression on projective tests, with both aggression and revenge of aggression being expressed indirectly. Such children experience both parents as less close, less helpful, and less affectionate than do other children. In addition, the relationship between idealizing parents becomes more distant after the child is born. A net of mutual idealization covers the distant relationships of these couples, with such relationships affecting children's verbal performance. Probably, as time goes by these children will grow more insecure and have lower self-esteem than others studied. Further, it is likely that they will cover their inadequate sense of self by means of stereotypical sex roles. (RH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Ambivalence (Psychology); Denial (Psychology); Finland; Idealization
Note: Paper presented at the Workshop on Sex Roles, World Federation for Mental Health (Manila, July 27-August 1, 1981).