Parental antecedents of need for approval-A longitudinal study

Thalma E. Lobel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study examined the antecedents of the two components of need for approval (the approach component and the avoidance component) on a longitudinal basis. The subjects were approximately 31 years old and were the children of the original mothers interviewed by Sears et al. (1957) 25 years earlier. For females, the approach component of need for approval was found to be positively related to the mothers' use of the withdrawal of the love and the avoidance component was negatively related to mothers' encouragement of their daughters to fight back (reinforcement of cross-gender behavior). No significant results were found for males. It was suggested that use of withdrawal of love enhances fear of rejection and increases the girl's need for approval. It was further argued that reinforcement of cross-gender behavior teaches the girl to behave according to her own interests rather than according to others' expectations. Possible explanations are offered as to why no significant results were found for males.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)502-510
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1982


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