Understanding the relationship between circumcision and emotional development in young boys: Measuring aggressiveness and emotional expressiveness

by Leone-Vespa, Tiffany, Psy.D., ALLIANT INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY, FRESNO, 2011, 138 pages; 3467063

Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to determine whether the circumcision surgery produced a higher incidence of aggressiveness and a lower incidence of emotional expressiveness in circumcised children versus uncircumcised or intact children. This study was conducted using a cross-sectional design in which data were collected through four self-report questionnaires: demographic questionnaire, circumcision questionnaire, Self-Expressiveness in the Family Questionnaire (SEFQ), and Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment (ITSEA). When applicable, the SEFQ was completed by both parents for a total of 66 parent participants. There were 40 male children participants (20 circumcised; 20 intact).

Data were analyzed using an independent t test. Of the six hypotheses, five were confirmed. The first significant finding of this study was that circumcised boys compared to intact boys scored higher on the ITSEA-EX subscale of the ITSEA, which measures activity/impulsivity, aggression/defiance, and peer aggression. The second significant finding of this study was that circumcised boys compared to intact boys scored higher on the ITSEA-IN subscale of the ITSEA, which measures depression/withdrawal, general anxiety, separation distress, and inhibition to novelty. The third significant finding of this study was that circumcised boys compared to intact boys scored higher on the ITSEA-DYS subscale of the ITSEA, which measures negative emotionality, sleep, eating, and sensory sensitivity. The fourth significant finding of this study was that circumcised boys compared to intact boys scored lower on the ITSEA-COMP subscale of the ITSEA, which measures compliance, attention, mastery, motivation, imitation/play, empathy, and prosocial peer relations. The fifth finding of this study was that parents of circumcised boys compared to parents of intact boys scored lower on the SEFQ-Positive scale, which measures positive emotions. The sixth finding was that there were no differences between the parents of circumcised boys compared to the parents of intact boys on the SEFQ-Negative scale, which measures negative emotions.

AdviserBeth Limberg
SchoolALLIANT INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY, FRESNO
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsBehavioral sciences; Developmental psychology; Clinical psychology
Publication Number3467063

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