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Kornyeyeva, L. Boehnke, K. (2013). The Role of Self-Acceptance in Authoritarian Personality Formation: Reintroducing a Psychodynamic Perspective into Authoritarianism Research. Psychoanal. Psychol., 30(2):232-246.

(2013). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 30(2):232-246

The Role of Self-Acceptance in Authoritarian Personality Formation: Reintroducing a Psychodynamic Perspective into Authoritarianism Research

Lena Kornyeyeva, Ph.D. and Klaus Boehnke, Ph.D.

The paper reintroduces psychodynamic considerations into the study of authoritarianism. It proposes that the experience of authoritarian socialization fosters a lack of self-acceptance, which is hypothesized to be a strong predictor of authoritarianism above and beyond the socialization experience itself. Four similarly sized subsamples of young adults with Turkish and Russian migration backgrounds, Western expatriates, and native Germans living in Germany, n = 1318 overall, were studied. Participants were asked to report the degree of authoritarianism experienced in their formative years in their family and their culture of upbringing as well as the degree of negativity of their life position as conceptualized in Transactional Analysis (TA), plus their current degree of authoritarianism. A structural equation model using a measure of low self- and other-acceptance as an additional predictor of authoritarianism is shown to explain more variance in authoritarianism than mere socialization circumstances in the Turkish and the ex-Soviet subsamples but—contrary to expectation—not in the Western samples.

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