Parenting and Emerging Adulthood: Do Parents Still Matter?

Merari Flores Saldana

Authors:  Merari Flores Saldana, Dr.Larry Forthun

Faculty Mentor: Dr.Larry Forthun

College:  Agricultural and Life Sciences


The purpose of this research is to examine the relationship between parenting, identity development, and emotional self-regulation in emerging adulthood utilizing a person-centered approach (Magnusson & Stattin, 2006). The data being used for this study was from the Multi-Site University Study of Identity and Culture (MUSIC), which was collected using a cross-sectional online survey. There were 4,407 students of which 60.9% were White and 70.4% were females ages 18-29. A hierarchical cluster analysis was performed using paternal and maternal psychological control and nurturance to identify the parenting profiles. A four-cluster solution was most parsimonious and was finalized using k-means cluster analysis; differences were tested through an analysis of variance (ANOVA) with Games-Howell post hoc testing. Parental Nurturance, high parental nurturance and low levels of psychological control, resulted in the most favorable outcomes for emerging adults. Parental Repression and Parental Equivocation both had high parental psychological control, but Parental Repression had low parental nurturance. Both profiles were significantly lower on the positive identity development variables but significantly higher on ruminative exploration and suppression. Maternal mitigation had high maternal nurturance, low psychological control, moderate paternal psychological control, and the lowest levels of paternal nurturance. This profile had similar outcomes as Parental Nurturance.

Poster Pitch

Click the video below to view the student's poster pitch.


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Larry Forthun
Larry Forthun (@guest_824)
1 year ago

Nice job Merari. The 2 minute thesis presentation was really well done. I have every confidence that you will be successful in graduate school and future career. Don’t let go of the research, though. You are very good at it.

Merari Flores Saldana
Merari Flores Saldana (@guest_2270)
Reply to  Larry Forthun
1 year ago

Thank you very much Dr.Forthun. I really appreciate it.

Julianna (@guest_830)
1 year ago

Hi Merari,
Great job! I was wondering what items you used to define identity exploration and development?

Merari Flores Saldana
Merari Flores Saldana (@guest_1634)
Reply to  Julianna
1 year ago

Hello, thank you for your question.

There were 25 items to measure identity development with the Dimensions of Identity Development Scale, which originated from Luyckx et al. (2008). Identity development was defined as the amount of exploration and commitment an individual experiences in order to form an identity. To measure commitment making and identification with commitment, participants were asked about their confidence in their plans and perception for the future. Exploration with divided into exploration in depth, breadth, and rumination. Participants were asked about whether they spent thinking about their plans, engagement with others for information, and if they experienced prolonged worrying about their future.

I hope this answers your question!

Katie Dorman-Sims
Katie Dorman-Sims (@guest_1082)
1 year ago

You did a great job giving an overview of your research. You pack a lot of information into the time you were given. Your poster is also very appealing to look at and you give your audience the information they need to process the research you completed. I am sorry you didn’t get the chance to present in person, but you took full advantage of the online opportunity you were given!

Merari Flores Saldana
Merari Flores Saldana (@guest_2374)
Reply to  Katie Dorman-Sims
1 year ago

Thank you so much Katie.

Kathy Vasquez
Kathy Vasquez (@guest_1494)
1 year ago

Amazing Job Merari!

You did great breaking down the parenting styles and their effects on emerging adults. I also found your analysis of the findings/data and further research topics very interesting. Congrats! I look forward to seeing big things in your future!

Best wishes for your next adventure!

Merari Flores Saldana
Merari Flores Saldana (@guest_2474)
Reply to  Kathy Vasquez
1 year ago

Thank you Kathy I really appreciate it.

Bailey Mae Bone
Bailey Mae Bone (@guest_1616)
1 year ago


Im so happy I was able to watch your presentation! You did such a great job and your poster came out beautifully. Congratulations.

Merari Flores Saldana
Merari Flores Saldana (@guest_2530)
Reply to  Bailey Mae Bone
1 year ago

Thank you so much, Bailey!

Kelly Moore
Kelly Moore (@guest_3780)
1 year ago

Great job on your research, Merari! I know you worked hard on this and it paid off, you produced a really high quality product!

Merari Flores Saldana
Merari Flores Saldana (@guest_6382)
Reply to  Kelly Moore
1 year ago

Thank you, Dr.Moore. I really appreciate your support and encouragement to do research.

Allen Wysocki - Associate Dean CALS
Allen Wysocki - Associate Dean CALS (@guest_4938)
1 year ago


Well done. You covered a lot of information in your presentation and you will easy to follow. Your research on parenting is timely.

Doc W

Merari Flores Saldana
Merari Flores Saldana (@guest_6420)

Thank you so much for your support, Dr.Wysocki.

Erica Goss
Erica Goss (@guest_5844)
1 year ago

Great job Merari!

Merari Flores Saldana
Merari Flores Saldana (@guest_6778)
Reply to  Erica Goss
1 year ago

Thank you so much Dr.Goss.

Emily Helfrich
Emily Helfrich (@guest_5870)
1 year ago

Hi Merari, I thought you did a phenomenal job with your poster presentation. I was so happy to see more research done on the impact of parenting because this is such an important area of study in youth development.

Merari Flores Saldana
Merari Flores Saldana (@guest_6840)
Reply to  Emily Helfrich
1 year ago

Thank you Emily! I really appreciate it.

Nicole Davi
Nicole Davi (@guest_6016)
1 year ago

Great job! This was very interesting to watch! I’m curious how you accessed your population for this study? Was this survey one that you released or was it a survey that was already conducted and you pulled data from there? I’m also curious what you would recommend for future research or if you were interested in further researching this topic future?

Merari Flores Saldana
Merari Flores Saldana (@guest_6716)
Reply to  Nicole Davi
1 year ago

Hi Nicole, thank you so much.

The data used for this study was from the Multi-Site University Study of Identity and Culture (MUSIC), which was collected using a cross-sectional online survey. It was existing data set with 4,407 students, and I had the opportunity to choose and analyze my variables.
For future research I would recommend conducting the study again to emerging adults that are not attending college, since this data set was limited to college students. I am interested in seeing these differences in emerging adults. I would also be interested in replicating the study overall to see if the parenting profiles remain consistent.

I hope this answers your questions!

Anays Hernandez
Anays Hernandez (@guest_6520)
1 year ago

Hi Merari! Amazing work! I love seeing the personal implications this brings to family households and how it may influence parents for childhood development.

Merari Flores Saldana
Merari Flores Saldana (@guest_6894)
Reply to  Anays Hernandez
1 year ago

Hello Anays. Thank you so much!

Kamila Hernandez
Kamila Hernandez (@guest_6904)
1 year ago

Awesome work Merari! I loved learning about the importance of psychological control in parenting.

Merari Flores Saldana
Merari Flores Saldana (@guest_7162)
Reply to  Kamila Hernandez
1 year ago

Thank you Kamila!