Document Type : Original Article (Quantified)


1 Master of Counseling, Arak Branch, Islamic Azad University, Arak, Iran

2 Master of School Counseling, Arak Branch, Islamic Azad University, Arak, Iran


Due to the effects of corona, school education has been done at home. School closures and students' home quarantine due to the epidemic also affect children's physical and mental health; thus, it can be expected to have an effect on parental stress and rejection. Therefore, a study was conducted to investigate the relationship between perceived stress and parental rejection and child aggression in corona epidemic. The research design was descriptive and correlative, and its population included parents with children aged 12 to 17 years in Boroujerd in the academic year 2020-2021. The sample size was 386 people who were selected using random sampling method. Questionnaires used included the Karimi Aggression Scale (2012), the Cohen Perceived Stress Scale (1983), and the Rohnner Parental Rejection Scale (2005). Data were analyzed using Spearman correlation test and SPSS-21 software. Findings of the study showed a significant positive relationship (r = 0.481) between negative parental stress and children's aggression. There was also a negative and significant relationship between parents' positive stress and children's aggression (r=-0.286). Finally, there is a positive and significant relationship between parental rejection and child aggression (r=0.606); Therefore, stress and rejection of parents are effective in the occurrence of aggressive behaviors of children in the corona.
Extended Abstract
During the corona epidemic, many signs of psychological damage such as panic disorder, emotion disorder, anxiety, depression, irritability, aggression, and sleep disorders have been reported in individuals (Rubin & Wessely, 2020). According to studies, the more severe the parents' psychological problems such as anxiety; stress and depression, the higher the incidence of behavioral disorders such as aggression in children ( al, 2012). Findings of Dirks. et al, (2011) also indicate that aggression is a behavioral problem and if it intensifies, it can cause communication problems and personality disorders. Aggression in behavioral sciences and psychology means behavior that leads to harassment and pain (Yaghobi, et al, 2011). There is ample evidence that the pattern of negative parent-child interaction predicts externalization problems in the child ( al, 2019). Mothers with anxiety, depression, and poor mental health perceive their children negatively, which affects the way they treat their children and the way they behave to their children ( al, 2015). Recent findings from China show that more than 25% of the general population experience severe levels of stress or anxiety caused by the coronavirus (Qiu, et al, 2020). People respond differently to life changes, positive stress can be a motivator, while negative stress can occur when these changes and needs fail. One of the most important reasons for aggression in children is learning from parental behavior among which stress is also one (Azizpour et al, 2017), i.e. children who have aggressive behavioral patterns behave like their own patterns.
The critical situation of the epidemic created problems in the families that affect the mental health of the family and their children. The negative effects of the epidemic and the children's not going to school will affect their behavioral problems and their interactions with their parents. Given that according to the results of a study (Chester and De Wall, 2015) there is a relationship between maternal stress and behavioral problems such as aggression in children in the coming years, so coronary epidemic provided the conditions for this study to be accomplished on the relationship between perceived stress and parental rejection with their children's aggression during the corona epidemic.
Theoretical Framework
In this regard, studies have been conducted in and outside the country that confirm the relationship between maternal rejection / acceptance with the level of aggression in children. DeWall et al, (2010) also showed that long-term acceptance and sudden parental rejection has a significant effect on social relationships and adolescent aggression. In this regard Shiralinia et al, (2019) in a study showed that children's behavioral problems can be affected by maternal stress, the quality of mother-child relationships and maternal mental health.
Researches of Hooper et al, (2015) has also shown that there is a relationship between maternal stress and behavioral disorders in children, including aggression. Thus, mothers' mental health problems are associated with short-term and long-term risks to their children's physical, cognitive and mental development (Thapa, et al, 2020), and this can affect parent-child interactions. Children are especially important in corona epidemic because according to research of Pitula et al, (2015) childhood stress can lead to aggression leading to murder in adolescence. Also, it should be considered that aggression in children with learning disabilities is a predictor of depression in these children during adolescence (Morris & Rottenberg, 2015).
The research design was descriptive and correlative. This research was applicable in terms of purpose. The statistical population of the study consists of 1500 parents with children aged 12 to 17 years in Boroujerd in the academic year 2020-2021. Using random sampling method, 386 people were selected as a statistical sample. For a closer look, the research was conducted when a year had passed since the Corona epidemic. The conditions for completing the questionnaire were that only parents whose children were 12 to 17 years old and had no psychological disorders such as hyperactivity and aggressive behaviors in their children's school record could complete the questionnaires. Data collected using the standard questionnaires of Aggression Scale (Karimi, 2012), Perceived Stress Scale (Kohen, 1983) and Parental Exclusion Scale (Rohnar, 2005).
Discussion and Results
The results of Spearman correlation test to investigate the relationship between parental stress and children's aggression show that there is a positive and significant relationship between negatively perceived parental stress and aggression thinking component at the level of 0.01 (r = 0.603), and a positive and significant relationship between negatively perceived stress and aggression component at the Level 0.01 (r=0.454), and a positive and significant relationship between negatively perceived stress and the aggression component (total) of children at level 0.01 (r = 0.481). This means that with the increase of negatively perceived stress of parents, the level of aggression of their children has also increased; but no significant relationship was found between children's aggressive behavior at home and their parents' negatively perceived stress.
The results of Spearman correlation test to examine the relationship between parental exclusion and child aggression show that there is a positive and significant relationship (r = 0.486) between the predictor of cold / lack of love variable with children aggression at the level of 0.01. In addition, all components of parental exclusion, including violence / aggression (r = 0.278), indifference / neglect (r = 0.514), lack of differentiation / exclusion (r = 0.587) and exclusion (total) (r = 0.606) have a positive and significant relationship with children's aggression at home. This means that with the increase of rejection and its dimensions in parents, the amount of aggression of children at home has also increased.
The present study aimed to investigate the relationship between perceived stress and parental rejection and child aggression during corona epidemic. These findings were consistent with the results of Azizpour et al, (2017), Sadeghzadeh et al, (2019), Morris & Rottenberg, (2015) on the effect of parental stress on child aggression. Explaining this finding, it can be concluded that parents, especially mothers, have had more interaction with their children in the conditions caused by the corona epidemic. Hossein (2014) believes that although both parents play their role in the process of child's upbringing and care, the mother has a greater role than the father in many societies. Therefore, the negative stress caused by this disease has caused mothers to use more strict parenting methods at home, and this has been effective in their children's behavioral problems, and they have exhibited aggressive behaviors. These results were consistent with studies of Shiralinia et al, (2019), Khanjani et al, (2016), and Kolshadi and Yazdkhashti, (2016). Explaining this finding, it should be said that parental rejection has a direct and positive relationship with children's aggression, and since the corona epidemic has increased parental stress, it has led to coldness and reduced parental affection, as a result of which children use aggressive behaviors to attract their parents' attention.


Aslani, K., Kosar, H., & Khadije, S. (2015). Predicting Aggression in Children According to Mental Health and Dimensions of Violence against Mothers. J Mazandaran Univ Med Sci, 25 (130), 164-168 [in Persian].
Azizpour, M, Mohammadifar, M, Najafi, M, et al. (2017). Comparison of selective attention and information processing speed in patients with multiple sclerosis and non-affected individuals (Depression, anxiety and stress levels). New Cognitive Science, spring (15) [Persian]
Abd AlKhaleque, S, A., and Rohner, R. P. (2005). Pancultural gender differences in the relation between perceived parental acceptance and psychological adjustment of children and adult offspring a meta-analytic review of worldwide research. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 46(8), 1059-1080.
Chester, D. S., and De Wall, C. N. (2015). Sound the Alarm: The Effect of Narcissism on Retaliatory Aggression Is Moderated by dACC Reactivity to Rejection. Journal of personality. 1(9), 12-19.
Dastani, Mahbubeh, thejamhare, Farhad. (2010). The Effect of Stress Management Training with Cognitive-Behavioral Approach to Mothers in Reducing Preschooler's Aggression. Counseling and Psychotherapy Cultures, 1 (3), 25-42. Doi: 10.22054 /qccpc.2010.5879[Persian]
Dirks, M. A, Treat, T. A., & Weersing, V.R. (2011). The Latent Structure of Youth Responses to Peer Provocation. J Psychopathol Behav Assess, 33(1), 58- 68
Demetriou, L., and Christodoulides, P. (2009). Parental acceptance-rejection in the Cypriot family. A social-psychological research on the PART/PARQ. Cyprus Journal of Science and Technology, 5(2), 84-98.
DeWall, C. N., Twenge, J. M., Bushman, B., Im, et al. (2010). A little acceptance goes a long way applying social impact theory to the rejectionaggression link. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 1(2), 168-174.
Gomez, R., Suhaimi, A. F. (2015). Malaysia Parent Ratings of the Parent-Parental Acceptance-Rejection Questionnaire Invariance across Ratings of Malay, Chinese, and Indian Children. Cross-Cultural Research, 49(1), 90-105.
Heshmati, A; Yazdkhasti, F, Molavi, H. (2012) Determining the relationship between temperament and understanding the acceptance and exclusion of the father with the aggressive behavior of the two groups of hearing and deaf students. "Cognitive and behavioral researches" Spring-Summer - Issue 2: 27-62 [Persian]
Hooper. E., Feng, X., Christian, L., et al. (2015). Emotion expression, emotionality, depressive symptoms, and stress: maternal profiles related to child outcomes. Journal of abnormal child psychology, 15(4), 1-13.
Hossain, Z. (2014). Parental Beliefs and Fathers’ and Mothers’ Roles in Malaysian Families. In H. Selin (Ed.), Parenting across Cultures: Child Rearing, Motherhood and Fatherhood in Non-Western cultures. (pp. 77-90). Netherlands: Springer.
Karimi, H. (2014). Investigating the relationship between exclusion-admission of parents and the mood of sixth grade elementary school students in the city of Foulad Shahr, MA's thesis of psychology, Ministry of Science, Research and Technology - Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz - Faculty of Education and Psychology [Persian]
Kolshadi, F; and Yazdkhashti, F. (2016). Effect of Perceptions on Acceptance and Control of Parents on Ethical Intelligence and Distress Tolerance, Culture Strategy Quarterly, 3313, 5. [Persian]
Khanjani, Z., & Mahmoudzadeh, R. (2013). A Study of Child-Rearing Styles and Behavioral Problems of Children with Employed and Unemployed Mothers. Journal Women and Culture, 4(16), 37-52 [in Persian].
Khanjani, Z., Peymannia, B., & Hashemi, T. (2016). Predicting the Quality of Mother- Child Interaction with Anxiety Disorders in Primary School Children based on Iranian Mothers, Cultural Characteristics. New Thoughts on Education, 1(2), 239-260 [in Persian].
Morris, B. H., & Rottenberg, J. (2015). Heightened reward learning under stress in generalized anxiety disorder: A predictor of depression resistance? Journal of abnormal psychology, 124(1), 115
Pitula, C. E., Murray-Close, D., Banny, A. M., et al. (2015). Prospective Associations between Peer Aggression and Victimization: The Moderating Roles of Physiological Stress Reactivity and Gender. Social Development. 5(10)158-169
Qiu, J., Shen, B., Zhao, M., et al. (2020). A Nationwide Survey of Psychological Distress among Chiness People in the COVID-19 epidemic: Implications and policy recommendations. General Psychiatry, 33(2): e100213. Doi: 10.1136/gpsych2020-100213.
Rubin, G.J., & Wessely, S. (2020). The Psychological Effects of Quarantining a City. Bmj. 368. Doi: 10.1136/bmj.m313.
Riahi, F., Amini, F., & Salehi Veisi, M. (2012). The Children’s Behavioral Problems and their Relationship with Maternal Mental Health. Jmj, 10 (1), 46-52.
Riahi, M., Esmaeli, M., & Kazemnia, S. (2016). The Effect of Mindfulness Training to Mothers on Improving Parent_Child Relationship. Child Psychological Studies, 8(29), 113-135
Shahyad, S., & Mohammadi, M. T. (2020). Psychological Impact of Covid-19 Outback on Mental Health of Society Individuals: A narrative review. J Mil Med, 22(2), 184-192 [in Persian].
Shiralinia, K., Izadi, M., & Aslani, K. (2019). The Role of Parenting Stress the Quality of mother-child Relationship and Mental Health of Mother in the Relationship between Mindful Parenting and Behavioral Problems of Children. Culture Counseling, 10 (38), 135-146 [in Persian].
Sadeghzadeh, M., Shameli, L., & Khormaee, F. (2019). Mother Patience and Child Aggression: The Mediating Role of Parenting Stress. Studies in Learning & Instruction, 11(1), 107-92 [in Persian].
 Sadeghi, R., Tajikzadeh, F., & Raiskariman F. (2014). The Relationship between Mother Acceptance -Rejection and Aggression in Girl Students. Sadra Medical Journal, 2(2), 173 -184 [in Persian].
Soheyli, M, Dashiri, G, Sayedeh, h (2015). Tendency to use drugs: Studying the Components of Parenting Styles, Stress and Personality Type D. Addiction Research Spring (33): 91-101. [Persian]
Seyed Mousavi, P; Mazaheri, M; Ghanbari, S. (2011). Relationship of Acceptance, Rejection and Control - Psychological Adaptation: The Study of the Role of Sexual Differences in Psychology. Summer (58): 197-92 [Persian]
Sinha, V. K., and Roy, B. (2007) Impact of Maternal Acceptance and Rejection on Adjustment Level of Girls. Health, 2(78), 0-05.
Talebi, A. (2010). The Effect of Maternal Management Training (MMT) on children's aggression and reducing the stress of their mothers. State dissertation - Payame Noor University (Ministry of Science, Research and Technology) - Payam Noor Center of Tehran - College of Humanities. Government - Payame Noor University (Ministry of Science, Research and Technology) - Payam Noor Center of Tehran - College of Humanities. MA [Persian]
Taylor, S., landry, C. A., Paluszek, M. M., et al. (2019). Development and Initial Validation of the Covid Stress Scale, Journal of Anxiety
Disorders, 72, 1-7.
Thapa, S. B., Mainali, A., Schwank, S. E., et al. (2020). Maternal Mental in Time of the COVID-19 Panademic, Acta Obstetricia ET Gynecological Scandinavica, 99(7), 1-13.
Wang, G., Zhang, Y., Zhao, J., et al. (2020). Mitigate the Effects of Home Confinement on Children during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Lancet, 395 (10228), 945-947.
Yaghobi, b, Sohrabi, F, Mofidi, F (2011) A Comparison of the Level of Aggression in Divorce and Normal Children" 1. 7 (1): 97-110[Persian]