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Parental and Peer Influences on Psychosocial Adjustment in Emerging Adulthood

Grant Winners

  • Madhavi Menon, PhD – Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences
  • Elizabeth Castillo ,BS – Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences


  • Don Rosenblum, PhD – Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences


Award Winners

A vast literature shows that the quality of personal relationships, especially personal relationships with parents is a major predictor of psychosocial functioning. Another line of research suggests that the peer group also has a significant influence on adjustment. However, most research has focused on the child/adolescent developmental period, and little is known on the developmental dynamics during emerging-adulthood (a period spanning the years between 18- 25 that is today considered a bridge between adolescence and adulthood). Further, there is little research addressing the combined effects of parent-child and peer-relationships on adjustment in emerging-adulthood. Additionally, the available research is derived from a predominantly American sample, while research suggests that there may be differing values that underline psychosocial adjustment across cultures. This study therefore proposes to address these gaps in the literature by assessing the interactive effects of parent-child and peer relationships on psychosocial adjustment in emerging-adulthood by studying an individualistic (USA) and collectivistic culture (India). This study has two primary objectives: 1) understand the effects of parent-child and peer relationships on emerging-adult adjustment across cultures; and 2) assess cross-cultural variations in these linkages. Thus, 150 emerging-adults (per country) will be administered measures to assess their relationship with parents, peers, and psychosocial adjustment. The data will be analyzed using hierarchical multiple-regressions to assess the interactive influences of parenting and peer relationships on emerging-adult adjustment, and to assess if these linkages are moderated by culture. The information gleaned from this study will help inform educators, researchers, and policymakers on the links between parental and peer variables on psychosocial adjustment in emerging-adulthood, so they may design programs aimed at enhancing positive psychosocial/behavioral adjustment by focusing on these key peer/parental factors. Further, the cross-cultural information will aid in theory building to better understand cultural variations in the increasingly globalized world of the 21st century.

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