Examining the Parent-Young Adult Relationship During the Transition to College: The Impact of Mismatched Expectations About Autonomy on College Student Adjustment

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/193646
Title:
Examining the Parent-Young Adult Relationship During the Transition to College: The Impact of Mismatched Expectations About Autonomy on College Student Adjustment
Author:
Kenyon, DenYelle C. Baete
Issue Date:
2006
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
The present study examined individuation and expectations for autonomous behavior (EAB) with incoming college freshmen and their parents. To test the theory that greater mismatch between young adults and their parents about EAB would be associated with more negative adjustment to college, Collins' (1990) Expectancy-Violation Model was applied. Data were initially collected with online questionnaires from incoming college freshmen and one of their parents before the transition to college. Follow-up data (W2) were collected three months later to assess adjustment to college. Individuation was measured with the Late Adolescence Individuation Questionnaire; EAB and reports of actual autonomous behavior were assessed with a measure based on the Psychological Separation Inventory. College student adjustment was measured with indicators of psychological well-being (i.e., psychosomatic symptoms, depressive symptoms, positive affect) and adaptation to college (i.e., college self-efficacy, satisfaction with college, and anticipated fall college grades). Open-ended data were collected from young adults and their parents describing topics of autonomy behavior where they perceived disagreement. A MANOVA indicated that there were significant differences between the four individuation groups (a) individuated (high connectedness and high separateness), (b) pseudoautonomous (low connectedness and high separateness), (c) dependent (high connectedness and low separateness), and (d) ambiguous (low connectedness and low separateness) on the young adults' adjustment to college. Post-hoc planned comparisons revealed that college students in the "individuated" group were consistently better off than those in the "ambiguous" group. Some support was found for the hypothesis that a higher discrepancy (a) between parent and young adult EAB and (b) between young adults' reports of expected versus actual autonomous behaviors was associated with lower W2 young adult well-being. Quality of parent-young adult communication was found to moderate some of these associations. Qualitative data somewhat supported the quantitative results, as well as illustrated unique areas for disagreement on EAB. Jointly, these quantitative and qualitative findings suggest that young adults' level of individuation from parents and a mismatch between parents' and young adults' perceptions of future autonomous behavior may impact college students' psychological well-being during the transition to college.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
individuation; autonomy; expectations; transition to adulthood; parent-young adult relationship
Degree Name:
PhD
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Family & Consumer Sciences; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Koerner, Susan S.
Committee Chair:
Koerner, Susan S.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleExamining the Parent-Young Adult Relationship During the Transition to College: The Impact of Mismatched Expectations About Autonomy on College Student Adjustmenten_US
dc.creatorKenyon, DenYelle C. Baeteen_US
dc.contributor.authorKenyon, DenYelle C. Baeteen_US
dc.date.issued2006en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe present study examined individuation and expectations for autonomous behavior (EAB) with incoming college freshmen and their parents. To test the theory that greater mismatch between young adults and their parents about EAB would be associated with more negative adjustment to college, Collins' (1990) Expectancy-Violation Model was applied. Data were initially collected with online questionnaires from incoming college freshmen and one of their parents before the transition to college. Follow-up data (W2) were collected three months later to assess adjustment to college. Individuation was measured with the Late Adolescence Individuation Questionnaire; EAB and reports of actual autonomous behavior were assessed with a measure based on the Psychological Separation Inventory. College student adjustment was measured with indicators of psychological well-being (i.e., psychosomatic symptoms, depressive symptoms, positive affect) and adaptation to college (i.e., college self-efficacy, satisfaction with college, and anticipated fall college grades). Open-ended data were collected from young adults and their parents describing topics of autonomy behavior where they perceived disagreement. A MANOVA indicated that there were significant differences between the four individuation groups (a) individuated (high connectedness and high separateness), (b) pseudoautonomous (low connectedness and high separateness), (c) dependent (high connectedness and low separateness), and (d) ambiguous (low connectedness and low separateness) on the young adults' adjustment to college. Post-hoc planned comparisons revealed that college students in the "individuated" group were consistently better off than those in the "ambiguous" group. Some support was found for the hypothesis that a higher discrepancy (a) between parent and young adult EAB and (b) between young adults' reports of expected versus actual autonomous behaviors was associated with lower W2 young adult well-being. Quality of parent-young adult communication was found to moderate some of these associations. Qualitative data somewhat supported the quantitative results, as well as illustrated unique areas for disagreement on EAB. Jointly, these quantitative and qualitative findings suggest that young adults' level of individuation from parents and a mismatch between parents' and young adults' perceptions of future autonomous behavior may impact college students' psychological well-being during the transition to college.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectindividuationen_US
dc.subjectautonomyen_US
dc.subjectexpectationsen_US
dc.subjecttransition to adulthooden_US
dc.subjectparent-young adult relationshipen_US
thesis.degree.namePhDen_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineFamily & Consumer Sciencesen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorKoerner, Susan S.en_US
dc.contributor.chairKoerner, Susan S.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberRussell, Stephenen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGamble, Wendyen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberWilhelm, Marien_US
dc.identifier.proquest1779en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659747541en_US
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