Date of Award
Honors College Thesis
Bonnie Nicholson, Ph.D.
Sara Jordan, Ph.D.
Sabine Heinhorst, Ph.D.
Research suggests that college students without children have opinions about parenting styles and practices, which may influence future parenting intentions and behaviors. In addition, research indicates that media exposure affects fertility desires in women. The present study explored how pre-parent college students view parenthood by examining the impact of social media use on perceptions of parenting, parenthood intentions, and anticipated parenting styles. One hundred nineteen (N = 119) college students completed measures that assessed social media use, perceptions of parenting, parenthood intentions, and anticipated parenting styles. Demographic variables such as parental status, race, age, and gender were also collected. Four hypotheses were evaluated. First, it was hypothesized that higher rates of social media use would be associated with more negative perceptions of parenting. Second, it was hypothesized that higher rates of social media use would be associated with lesser parenthood intentions. Thirdly, it was hypothesized that social media use would be shown to impact anticipated parenting styles. Lastly, it was hypothesized that perceptions of parenting and social media use will be associated with parenthood intentions. Multiple correlational analyses were used to examine the relationships between social media use, perceptions of parenting, parenthood intentions, and anticipated parenting styles. Data analysis did not support the first and third hypotheses. However, the second hypothesis was supported as higher rates of social media use were positively correlated with parenthood intentions, and the fourth hypothesis was partially supported. Additional analyses found significant positive and negative relationships between parenthood intentions and certain subscales of perception of parenting.
Keywords: parenting, college students, parenthood intentions, social media
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Evins, Kennedy, "Future Parents: Associations between social media use, parenting styles, and parenthood desires" (2022). Honors Theses. 853.