Parents' and College Students Perceptions of Support and Family Environment

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The main objectives of this multimethod exploratory study were to compare parent and college student perceptions of communication patterns, financial/emotional support, family environment, and achieved adulthood during the transition to adulthood while in college. First, focus groups including eight parent figures and 16 students were conducted to provide feedback on important topics as well as on survey instruments. Survey responses from 152 parent figures and their college-age children were then used for the exploratory survey study. Parents reported providing more financial support, more positive family interactions, and less negative family interactions compared to their college-age children. The majority of students as well as parents did not view themselves and their children as having fully completed the transition to adulthood as indicated by the majority using the “in-between” response when asked if their child (or student himself or herself) had reached adulthood.