Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Christopher C. Henrich - Chair

Second Advisor

Lauren B. Adamson

Third Advisor

Gabriel P. Kuperminc


This study investigates whether the parent-adolescent relationship is related to the academic, social, and personal-emotional expectations of adjustment and actual adjustment to college during the transition to college. The mother-adolescent relationship was more consistently linked to college adjustment than the father-adolescent relationship both cross-sectionally and longitudinally, and students identified their parents and especially their mother amongst the first people who they go to for support. More African Americans than students from other ethnic backgrounds and more dormitory residents than commuters identified their mother as their first supportive figure, suggesting that the students’ living arrangements and their cultural backgrounds need to be taken under consideration when studying this transitional period.