Should parents be blamed for their kids personality?

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Abstract Carl Rogers’ and BF Skinner’s theories are examined as to how they support a view that a parent could be blamed for their child’s personality. External parental influences are a feature of both theories but these psychologists differ fundamentally on the reasons why. While Rogers supported causal factors such as internal forces or motivational states within the child, they are excluded under the Skinnerian model. Evaluation of both theories demonstrates that personality can be influenced by parents but proof and scope is limited. Should parents be blamed for their kids’ personality? Over the last century or so there have been many theories posited to explain personality and the debate about nature versus nurture prevails. Fundamentally, Carl Rogers and B.F. Skinner would have agreed that a child’s parents will influence their personality but would have disagreed on why this is so. Rogers would say that personality springs from within but its development could be ameliorated by external influences whereas Skinner discarded any internal processes because it impeded empirical analysis. This essay will focus on key aspects of the theories of behaviourist, Skinner and humanist, Rogers and how those theories might explain the influence by parents upon their child’s personality and will evaluate the adequacy of these theories. Largely Rogers agreed with Skinner that external factors impinge upon the child’s personality development, however, Rogers believed that innate factors within the child also play role. The key structural concept in the Rogerian model of personality is the ‘self’ or ‘self concept’ (Pervin, 1993). He regarded this self as those parts that an individual identifies with or subjective beliefs that they alone hold of themselves from their phenomenal field made up of their perceptions of external objects and experiences. He

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