Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


School of Communication

First Advisor

Aimee Miller-Ott


As emerging adults transition into adulthood, continued parental involvement and shared messages from parent to child creates a context ripe for research. Unrealistic and demanding messages about expectations from parent to emerging college student have the potential to harm the college students’ perceptions of their own college experiences. While research into the positive impacts of parental involvement has exemplified many constructive outcomes for the emerging adult, little research has discussed how parental overinvolvement, overparenting, and control may lead to parental messages about expectations for emerging adulthoods in their college years that may alter the students’ college experiences and perceptions of their own academic success and achievement. The purpose of this study was to examine the parental messages about expectations regarding college that emerging adults recall and how their college experiences may be impacted by these messages. Using the memorable messages framework, this study uncovered types of direct and indirect parental messages about expectations and reasons why emerging adults held these messages as salient. In-depth, qualitative interviews were conducted with 14 participants who self-identified as having received (or still receive) messages from their parents about expectations regarding college. The utterances were categorized according to research questions posed. The utterances used by all participants were then analyzed using thematic analysis. Participants recalled three different types of parental messages about expectations, three different response behaviors, and three different outcomes on their collegiate experiences. Implications of the study, limitations, and future research are then discussed.


Imported from Patel_ilstu_0092N_11881.pdf


Page Count


Included in

Communication Commons