This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Perceptions of Parental Emotional Availability and Students’ Adjustment to College




Willingham, Heath

Type of Degree



Counseling Psychology
Counselor Education
School Psychology


The purpose of the current study was to examine the possible relationship between an individual’s perceptions of emotional availability from their parents and their adjustment to college. Differences in parental roles and gender of participants were also discussed. Participants included 153 males (64) and females (89) from one private university and one public university in the Southeastern United States. Their class standing ranged from freshmen to juniors and age ranges were 18 to 21. Participants were asked to complete instruments asking about their perceptions of parental emotional availability (LEAP) and their adjustment to college (SACQ). Regression and correlational analyses were used to analyze the data. The current study found both positive and negative relationships between the variables of emotional availability and college adjustment. Some of these relationships were found to be statistically significant. The most noteworthy finding in the current study was that female participant’s perception of mother’s emotional availability was significantly related to their social adjustment to college.