WHDL - 00013463
WHDL - 00013463
The main objective of the study is to explore whether or not growing up with an absent father affects how selected Korean adolescents perceive God as Father. The primary finding of this study is that the children’s perception of God is affected when the father is absent in the child’s growing up years. There were five adolescent respondents between 13 to 19 years of age and five mothers who participated in the study. This study is anchored in the tenets of Attachment Theory set forth by John Bowlby (1958) and Mary Ainsworth (1970). One of the most important concepts in the attachment theory is the Internal Working Model (IWM), that is, a child’s understanding of the world, self and other. A child’s IWM is reflected in the degree of security or insecurity experienced within the parent-child bond. This study also considered the Father Presence Questionnaire (FPQ) set forth by Krampe and Newton which examines a child’s relationship with the father and beliefs about the father. The design principle for the research is based in the qualitative method. The methodology used in the study is a multiple-case study approach. Five case studies were conducted. The data for this study came from the responses of the research participants in the semi-structured interviews. The data from the mothers provided information to triangulate the responses of the adolescents. Data was analyzed using the MAXQDA software to produce Maxmaps for each case. Based on the data analysis, the following conclusions were drawn. It appears that first, the attachment of adolescent respondents with their fathers is reflected in their attachment with God. This is true even when the attachment is formed when the father and the adolescent lived together. Second, fathers who are physically absent or separated from their children can still be involved in their child’s life, but this needs commitment on the part of the father. This involvement also can affect how adolescents perceive God as Father, because part of their perceptions of their own fathers are carried over into their ideas of God as Father. Third, it appears that even when the absent fathers are not involved in the child’s spiritual life, all the fathers are involved in other facets of the child’s life. With the influence of their mothers and other church members, adolescents who grow up with an absent father can still perceive “God as Father” or “Lord God.” Fourth, based on this study, how the selected respondents perceived their earthly fathers “corresponded” with their perception of God as Father. An earthly father, even when absent, can affect the child’s perception of God. Finally, based on the findings of the study, the following specific recommendations were identified for the ministry of the local church: (1) invite subject matter experts who can teach the mothers how attachment with their father is important in children’s spiritual life; (2) create mother-adolescent programs where mothers in the church plan activities with their adolescents; (3) Form mothers’ prayer groups; and (4) create a program to teach the mothers how to encourage their husbands to get involved in their child’s life.
This collection contains the theses in fulfillment of the degree of Master of Arts in Religious Education at Asia-Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary.