Date of Award

Spring 2023

Degree Type


Director of Thesis

Dr. Allison Sweeney

First Reader

Dr. Robin Dawson

Second Reader

Dr. Robin Dawson


This research aimed to explore how parenting style relates to college students’ adjustment in the first month of college. Authoritative parenting is marked by a standard of maintaining some control, while also promoting children’s autonomy. Previous research has found that authoritative parenting is positively associated with adolescent behavior that is more socially responsible, self-reliant, cheerful, and cooperative. Furthermore, the more support and independence that parents encourage, will in turn breed confidence and academic persistence in adolescent years. I will expand on this research by evaluating whether parenting style also relates to adjustment and mental health outcomes among first year college students. I hypothesized that that first-year college students whose parents showed higher levels of authoritative parenting would in turn have better adjustment to college, higher academic self-efficacy and less anxiety. A total of 23 freshman Nursing students between the ages of 18 and 20 participated in an online study and completed a survey containing questions from the Authoritative Parenting Index(API), Student Adjustment to College Questionnaire(SACQ), General Academic Self-Efficacy Scale(GASE), and General Anxiety Disorder Measure(GAD). The results showed that, as expected, authoritative parenting was positively associated with greater student adjustment to college (r=0.60, p

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