An investigation of how parents' and their adult children's views of each other converge or diverge
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BA (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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A person's perception of self and how it is formed, maintained, modified and evaluated has great significance and implications in every area of a person's life. Theorists believe in early childhood parental perception and reflected appraisals of such have a strong influence on the development of a child's perception of self. This study aimed to explore adult children's perception of self and of his or her parent, and also the parent's perception of the child and the parent's perception of self. The self was measured using Damon and Hart's (1988) self-understanding interview which measures both self-as-object or the "me" aspect of self and also the concept of self-as-subject or "I" aspect of self These perceptions were then analysed and compared to see if and how they converge or diverge. The main findings show that convergence was greatest for both groups in their perception of the others' self-as-object. Divergence was greatest for both groups in their perception of the others' self-as-subject. The study concluded that divergence in perception of the other's self-as-subject. This may be explained by the fact that the self-as-subject or "I" aspect of self is an internal aspect of self whereas the self-as-object aspect contains the characteristics that are observable and known about a person.