Self-regulation strategies of white young adult male students who grew up with emotionally absent fathers
Ackermann, Dirk Wouter Jacobus
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Young men who grew up with emotionally absent fathers seem to find it difficult to attain equilibrium through dedication to both personal and relational concerns, probably because they tend to have low self-esteem, struggle to establish intimate relationships and may be at greater risk of engaging in antisocial or violent behaviour. The aim of this study was to explore the self-regulation strategies that white young adult male students employ to deal with the emotions and cognitions related to the experience of having emotionally absent fathers. Interactive Qualitative Analysis was applied to facilitate a discussion group process through which a hypothetical model for a purposive sample of nine participants’ self-regulation strategies was systematically constructed. Ten themes were identified, and judging from the model participants’ attempts at self-regulation seem to be unproductive in the long run, hence the presence of three feedback loops from which they are unable to produce constructive behavioural outcomes. Disappointment over emotionally absent fathers has introduced a number of inhibiting factors that hinder the participants’ growth towards self-actualisation. Results support the literature on the complex nature of self-regulation within conflicting relationships. Although the study was explorative and findings cannot be generalised, it does provide valuable cues for counsellors, psychologists and further research.
- Humanities