Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Bonnie C. Nicholson

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Emily B. Yowell

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Richard S. Mohn

Committee Member 3 Department

Educational Studies and Research


Authoritarian parenting practices are more common among African American families, and appear to include fewer disadvantages in regards to child outcomes compared to White/non-Hispanic families who use these same practices. Little is known about why these racial differences occur, although family structure may play a role. The present study sought to understand the role of family structure and race in moderating the effects of parenting practices on college student mental health outcomes. College students reported on the parenting practices of their caregivers, as well as their race, family structure, characteristics of their familial environment, and socioeconomic status. Levels of depression, anxiety, and stress as measured by the DASS-21 served as outcome variables. As predicted, race did not moderate the relationship between parental warmth and emotional distress among young adults. However, contrary to hypotheses, race and family structure also did not moderate the relationship between parental intrusive control and emotional distress. Implications and directions for future research are briefly discussed.