Date of Award

Spring 5-2017

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Bonnie C. Nicholson

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Eric. R. Dahlen

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Melanie E. Leuty

Committee Member 3 Department



Overparenting is a type of parental control that features intense parental involvement, which is negatively associated with the development of age-appropriate autonomous behavior in children and emerging adults. To this point, overparenting has been linked to poor mental health in young children (Bayer, Sanson, & Hemphill, 2006; Gar & Hudson, 2008), as well as in emerging adults (LeMoyne & Buchanan, 2011; Segrin, Woszidlo, Givertz, & Montgomery, 2013). The emerging adult population has continued to be one of interest across recent studies concerning mental health, given the unique emotional and behavioral changes that arise during this stage of development. Emotional distress tolerance (DT), defined as the ability to withstand negative emotional states (Anestis et al., 2012; Simons & Gaher, 2005), has not yet been established as a construct in relation to overparenting. The present study examined the direct role of overparenting in relation to mental health symptoms in emerging adults and explored emotional DT as a mediator of this relationship. College student participants (N = 360) completed a demographic questionnaire, as well as questionnaires regarding perceived parental control, depression, stress, anxiety, and emotional distress tolerance. As hypothesized, the results indicated that emotional DT was negatively correlated with levels of perceived overparenting. Furthermore, it was found that emotional DT mediated the relationship between overparenting and emotional distress in emerging adulthood, when accounting for race and perceived parental involvement as covariates.