The association between parenting and disgust sensitivity

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Brian Joseph Visconti (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Harold Herzog

Abstract: The purpose of this thesis was to assess the association between the developmental stage of parenting and changes in disgust sensitivity. Little disgust research has focused on the parenting domain, and virtually none has attempted to describe disgust sensitivity differences between parents and non-parents. The study used an ex post-facto quasi-experimental design with a self-report survey method. The subjects were male and female parents of young children (n=39) recruited through daycare centers and a control group of non-parents, most of whom were college students (n=114). Participants were administered a survey packet which included the Disgust Scale-Revised (DS-R) and the Parenting Domain Disgust Scale (PDDS), a tool developed for this study. The PDDS was designed to be analogous to the DS-R in terms of three disgust subtypes (core, contamination, and animal reminder disgusts). The study was designed to test four hypotheses: (1) Parents would have lower DS-R scores than non-parents, (2) parents would have lower PDDS scores than non-parents, (3) greater differences would be seen between female parents and non-parents than between male parents and non-parents, and (4) subscales (core, animal reminder and contaminant disgusts) on the PDDS would be positively correlated with the same subscale scores on the DS-R. Results supported two of the four hypotheses: Hypothesis 1 was not supported as there were no significant differences in DS-R scores between parents and non-parents. However, the PDDS scores of parents were significantly lower than those of non-parents which supported Hypothesis 2. This suggests that changes in sensitivity to parenting-related disgust elicitors do not generalize to non-parenting-related elicitors. I was not able to recruit enough male subjects to test Hypothesis 3. Hypothesis 4 was also supported, as grouped disgust subtype items on the PDDS correlated significantly with their counterparts on the DS-R.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2013
Basic emotions, Developmental psychology, Disgust plasticity, Disgust sensitivity, Evolutionary psychology, Parenting
Aversion -- Case studies
Parenting -- Psychological aspects -- Case studies

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