Ppudah KiFollow

Date of Completion


Embargo Period



coping, resilience, parental acceptance, parental rejection, partner acceptance, IPARTheory

Major Advisor

Preston A. Britner

Associate Advisor

Ronald P. Rohner

Associate Advisor

Linda C. Halgunseth

Field of Study

Human Development and Family Studies


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


The ability to adapt to stress and life difficulties is a vital aspect of human development and functioning. Coping is one of the crucial constructs that influences this adjustment process. Accordingly, this study draws from interpersonal acceptance-rejection theory’s (IPARTheory) coping subtheory, which recognizes that the psychological adjustment of some individuals who experience themselves to be seriously rejected by attachment figures is not as seriously impaired as it is for the majority of individuals who experience serious rejection. These people are called affective copers. This dissertation focused primarily on seven research questions dealing with affective copers. Secondarily, for comparison purposes, the same analyses were conducted for non-copers. Data from the Rohner Center for the Study of Interpersonal Acceptance and Rejection were used in this study. Results showed that (1) there were 2,016 (16.88%) rejected individuals in a total sample of 11,946 adults. (2) Eight hundred eleven (6.79%) of the adults in the total sample were affective copers; 40.2% of all adults who felt rejected as children were also affective copers. (3a) Age had a significant negative but marginal correlation with coping. (3b) There were significantly more female copers than male copers in the sample. (4) Both male and female copers remembered having experienced significantly more maternal acceptance than paternal acceptance in childhood. (5) Male copers’ psychological adjustment correlated significantly with remembrances of maternal acceptance in childhood, and with age. Female copers’ psychological adjustment was significantly associated with parental acceptance and age. (6) For male copers, both maternal acceptance and paternal acceptance were unique and significant predictors of psychological adjustment. For female copers, age and an interaction between maternal and paternal acceptance were significant predictors of psychological adjustment. Finally, (7) there was no mediation effect of partner acceptance on the relationship between parental acceptance and the psychological adjustment of copers. This research has implications for clinical researchers and practitioners. Results of this study provide empirical information regarding variables and factors‒‒including moderators and mediators‒‒that are associated with coping and resilience of seriously rejected adults.