Date of Award

12-15-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Hakim-Larson, Julie

Keywords

Parentification, Resilience, Risk, Role Reversal

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Childhood parentification, an adult-child role reversal in which a child provides physical and/or emotional care for a parent, has been associated with both adaptive and maladaptive outcomes in emerging adulthood (Hooper, 2007b). The current three-part investigation (quantitative, written narrative, interview) used quantitative and qualitative methods to explore adjustment in emerging adulthood following childhood parentification experiences and sought to identify factors that may influence parentification outcomes. In total, data from 205 participants were analyzed in the quantitative portion of the study, with 181 participants providing written narrative responses and 10 individuals participating in a follow-up interview. Results from quantitative and qualitative approaches indicated that parentification was associated with a number of maladaptive outcomes, including increased internalizing symptoms, decreased positive social relations, decreased life satisfaction, and increased substance use. Parentification was also associated with ideological and interpersonal values that were in opposition to parental beliefs. Through quantitative and qualitative methods, six factors were identified that may affect the relation between parentification and later outcome: perceived unfairness in the family of origin, perceived stress of adult roles, self-management skills, supportive parenting, optimistic attitude, and perceived value of skills learned. Clinical implications for the findings are discussed.

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