All you fear is love: The roles of rejection by intimate others

Aracı İyiaydın A., Toplu-Demirtaş E., Akçabozan-Kayabol N. B., Rohner R. P.

Personal Relationships, vol.30, no.2, pp.451-470, 2023 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 30 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/pere.12473
  • Journal Name: Personal Relationships
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Psycinfo
  • Page Numbers: pp.451-470
  • Keywords: fear of intimacy, intimate-partner rejection, IPARTheory, moderated mediation, parental rejection
  • TED University Affiliated: Yes


Interpersonal acceptance-rejection theory (IPARTheory) asserts that recollections of parental rejection in childhood tend to result in psychological maladjustment and intimacy problems in later romantic relationships. Informed by IPARTheory, we investigated the association between maternal & paternal rejection, and fear of intimacy by the mediating role of psychological maladjustment in a Turkish sample with 462 mostly young adults. We further explored the moderator role of gender in Model 1 and the moderating roles of both gender and intimate partner rejection in Model 2. Model 1 revealed that adults who had experienced maternal and paternal rejection in childhood tended to be psychologically maladjusted. Consequently, they also tended to have a fear of intimacy, regardless of gender. Model 2 revealed that women who recall having been rejected in childhood by their mothers tended to be psychologically maladjusted and to have a significant fear of intimacy when they also experienced moderate or more than moderate intimate-partner rejection. However, both women and men who experienced paternal rejection in childhood tended to be psychologically maladjusted and to experience a greater fear of intimacy when they perceived any degree of intimate partner rejection. Implications of the results for theory, research, and practice are discussed.