The Effect of Perceived Maternal Acceptance-Rejection on Mental Illness among Orphaned Adolescents in Indonesia

Winarini W. Mansoer, Raissa Dwifandra Putri, Nessi Sulaiman - Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research

Abstract – Past research has shown that orphaned adolescents who live in Indonesian orphanages are at a higher risk of experiencing various psychological disorders. In fact, parents (especially single mothers) leave their children in the orphanages because they are not able to provide adequate food, shelter, and education for their children. Despite the single mother's good intentions, the adolescent might view her actions as rejection. Adolescents who are placed in orphanages tend to have negative views of their mothers and feel they have been abandoned. Furthermore, maternal rejection has been found to be the main predictor of various forms of behavioral problems, and on the other hand, maternal acceptance has been found to have an impact on healthy social–emotional development. The aim of the present quantitative study is to examine how perceived maternal acceptance-rejection contributes to the risk of mental illness in orphaned adolescents. Participants in this study included 70 orphaned adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18 years. Parental Acceptance-Rejection questionnaire (PARQ) and youth outcome questionnaire – self report were used to collect the data. The results indicate that the higher the orphaned adolescents perceived their mother's acceptance, the lower the risk of mental illness, whereas the higher they perceived their mother's rejection, the higher the risk of mental illness. The contribution of all dimensions of rejection to mental illness was found to be 42.1%. However, not all dimensions of rejection contributed significantly to mental illness, and the only dimensions found to have a significant effect were hostility/aggression and undifferentiated rejection.