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Maternal Rejection of Daughters and Its Implications

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

The relationship between a mother and her daughter is often regarded as one of the most profound and significant bonds in a person's life. Daughters understand themselves better through their important relationships, particularly as they go through important developmental stages. During that time, as they face adolescence and young adulthood, they may struggle with self-identity, as they become more self-aware. If the daughter feels rejected by her mother, she loses self-confidence, becomes confused and questions her identity. Various studies have demonstrated that a poor relationship with a parent along with perceived rejection contribute to the onset of anxiety and depressive symptoms.


Maternal Rejection of Daughters


Maternal rejection happens when a mother displays critical, hostile, emotionally distant or dismissive behaviour towards her daughter. This can be exhibit in various way, such as lack of emotional support, contempt, neglect. The outcome of maternal rejection during formative years contribute to long lasting psychological scars, impacting many areas of a daughter’s life. Nothing could be more damaging to a daughter’s spirit, self-worth and self-love than perceived rejection from her mother.


Psychological Consequences of Maternal Rejection


According to research, there is a strong link between maternal rejections and negative psychological outcomes. Daughters who experience maternal rejection often struggle with anxiety, depression, low self-esteem. They also experience difficulties in forming healthy relationships. The quality of the first early attachment influences relationships in adulthood, hence women who experienced maternal rejection can develop insecure attachment. They may believe that they are flawed and do not deserve to be loved, respected and supported. They may also develop a tendency to seek reassurance and validation from others in attempts to repair their low self-esteem.


The Link Between Maternal Rejection and Addiction


Adolescents and young adults may turn to substances or unhealthy behaviours as a mean of anaesthetising emotional pain, cope with feelings of inadequacy, or seek a sense of belonging and acceptance elsewhere. Having a close relationship with a mother is a crucial part of good mental health and a primary source of happiness. If a girl grows up feeling her mother’s contempt and hostility, she will be more prone to turn towards alcohol, drugs, sex and other addictions to comfort herself and fill the void caused my maternal rejection.

The young women with history of maternal rejections tend to lose self-control and engage in self-defeating behaviours because they lack the ability to regulate their emotions.

The connection between maternal rejection and addiction highlights the profound impact of early life experiences on an individual’s adult life and their psychological wellbeing. The road from maternal rejection to addiction is not inevitable. Understanding how these factors interact can provide a valuable insight into prevention and intervention strategies to support daughters who have experienced maternal rejection.


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Maternal Rejection of Daughters and Addiction. Iremia Counselling

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