Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

John A. Anderson, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

J. Beth Mabry, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Melissa Swauger, Ph.D.


Information is lacking on parenting style and parental involvement as it relates to undergraduate college students. Using a quantitative methodology, this study surveyed 470 undergraduate students at a public 4-year university to investigate the relationship among parenting style, parental involvement and parent influence and undergraduate student success, as measured by Schreiner’s Thriving Quotient (2009). This study disaggregated the dimensions of Baumrind’s authoritative parenting (1966) and included the concepts of parental control and challenge as aspects of parenting style. Factor analysis revealed two new constructs for future researchers to use: acceptance and transparency. Analysis also confirmed Hill & Tyson’s (2009) conceptualization of parental involvement in education consisting of direct and indirect involvement, and that it applies to emerging adults in college. Additional findings include a positive relationship between parenting style and undergraduate student success and between parental influence and undergraduate student success. By isolating which aspects of parenting style and parental influence positively relate with student success, higher education institutions can develop policies and parental programs to better inform and coach administrators, instructors, advisors and parents on behaviors that positively impact college students, which may help retention efforts.