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

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24 Responses
  1. Larry Forthun

    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.

  2. Julianna

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

    1. Merari Flores Saldana

      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!

  3. Katie Dorman-Sims

    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!

  4. Kathy Vasquez

    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!

  5. Bailey Mae Bone


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

  6. Kelly Moore

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

    1. Merari Flores Saldana

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

  7. Emily Helfrich

    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.

  8. Nicole Davi

    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?

    1. Merari Flores Saldana

      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!

  9. Anays Hernandez

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

  10. Kamila Hernandez

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