Event Title

Young Adults' Reliance on Mothers and Fathers During Decision Making

Poster Number

075

Faculty Mentor

Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Psychology

Location

Richardson Ballroom – DiGiorgio Campus Center

Start Date

12-4-2019 2:15 PM

End Date

April 2019

Description

We examined how much young adults involve their parents in different decisions. We hypothesized that better quality parent-child relationships would predict greater parental reliance for both academic and personal decisions. Participants were young adults (n = 101; 60% women; 72% Caucasian) with a mean age of 20.57 (SD = 2.02) who responded to a published scale to assess the quality of the parent-child relationship. First, participants focused on their mothers when responding and then on their fathers. Next, participants shared difficult school-related and personal decisions and responded to questions regarding how much they involved their parents in them. As we hypothesized, we found that the better the quality of the relationship, the more participants relied on their parents during decision making. Young adults relied on their mothers more frequently than their fathers, particularly for personal decisions versus academic ones. Although adults followed both parents’ advice, a higher quality relationship resulted in participants finding their mothers’ advice helpful but not their fathers’. One explanation might be that mothers changed their advice depending on the situation, while fathers were more consistently logical. However, when decisions were stressful, participants decreased their reliance on their mothers, perhaps because mothers’ advice was more emotional. Age, race, gender, and GPA did not predict reliance on parents; instead, we found commonalities among these demographic groups. These data add to our understanding of young adults, their decision making, and parental involvement.

Previously Presented/Performed?

Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Annual Meeting, Jacksonville, Florida, March 2019

Course Assignment

PSYC 302 – Sleigh

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Apr 12th, 2:15 PM Apr 12th, 4:15 PM

Young Adults' Reliance on Mothers and Fathers During Decision Making

Richardson Ballroom – DiGiorgio Campus Center

We examined how much young adults involve their parents in different decisions. We hypothesized that better quality parent-child relationships would predict greater parental reliance for both academic and personal decisions. Participants were young adults (n = 101; 60% women; 72% Caucasian) with a mean age of 20.57 (SD = 2.02) who responded to a published scale to assess the quality of the parent-child relationship. First, participants focused on their mothers when responding and then on their fathers. Next, participants shared difficult school-related and personal decisions and responded to questions regarding how much they involved their parents in them. As we hypothesized, we found that the better the quality of the relationship, the more participants relied on their parents during decision making. Young adults relied on their mothers more frequently than their fathers, particularly for personal decisions versus academic ones. Although adults followed both parents’ advice, a higher quality relationship resulted in participants finding their mothers’ advice helpful but not their fathers’. One explanation might be that mothers changed their advice depending on the situation, while fathers were more consistently logical. However, when decisions were stressful, participants decreased their reliance on their mothers, perhaps because mothers’ advice was more emotional. Age, race, gender, and GPA did not predict reliance on parents; instead, we found commonalities among these demographic groups. These data add to our understanding of young adults, their decision making, and parental involvement.