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Parenting About Complex Issues: Qualitative Data About Desired Parental Involvement

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Faculty Mentor: Dr. Wendy M. Rote

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Adaptive and maladaptive parental involvement is known to impact adolescent adjustment to adulthood (Nelson et. al. 2015), however, not much is known about the youth’s perspective on what specific parental behaviors are thought to be most helpful to young adult development. The goal of this study is to identify the ways in which young adults wish their parents had been more and less involved in their lives at different stages of adolescence and emerging adulthood. Using an online survey, college students were asked to write in two issues they wanted more parental involvement in and two issues they wanted less parental involvement in at three different developmental stages (early-adolescence, mid-to-late adolescence, and young adulthood). The study’s findings suggest that middle and high school students wanted more involvement in areas such as schoolwork and overall health, whereas all three developmental age groups wanted less involvement in their personal relationships. This study extends research on domain differences in overparenting (Rote & Feliscar, 2018) and adaptive and maladaptive parental control (Smetana, 2011), to better understand developmental differences in desired areas of parental involvement.

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Parenting About Complex Issues: Qualitative Data About Desired Parental Involvement

Adaptive and maladaptive parental involvement is known to impact adolescent adjustment to adulthood (Nelson et. al. 2015), however, not much is known about the youth’s perspective on what specific parental behaviors are thought to be most helpful to young adult development. The goal of this study is to identify the ways in which young adults wish their parents had been more and less involved in their lives at different stages of adolescence and emerging adulthood. Using an online survey, college students were asked to write in two issues they wanted more parental involvement in and two issues they wanted less parental involvement in at three different developmental stages (early-adolescence, mid-to-late adolescence, and young adulthood). The study’s findings suggest that middle and high school students wanted more involvement in areas such as schoolwork and overall health, whereas all three developmental age groups wanted less involvement in their personal relationships. This study extends research on domain differences in overparenting (Rote & Feliscar, 2018) and adaptive and maladaptive parental control (Smetana, 2011), to better understand developmental differences in desired areas of parental involvement.

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