Perceived parental relationships and health-risk behaviors in college-attending emerging adults

Seth J. Schwartz, Byron L. Zamboanga, Russell D. Ravert, Su Yeong Kim, Robert S. Weisskirch, Michelle K. Williams, Melina Bersamin, Gordon E. Finley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


The present study investigated the association of perceived parenting with health-risk behaviors in an ethnically diverse sample of 1,728 college-attending emerging adults. Participants completed retrospective measures of perceived maternal and paternal nurturance, connection, psychological control, and disrespect and reported their frequency of binge drinking, illicit drug use, unsafe sexual behavior, and impaired driving. Multivariate Poisson regression analyses indicated that perceived paternal acceptance was associated inversely with 6 of the 12 health-risk behaviors measured, whereas perceived mothering was related only to 2 of these health-risk behaviors. These patterns were consistent across gender, ethnicity, and family structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)727-740
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Emerging adulthood
  • Ethnicity
  • Father-child relations
  • Parenting
  • Sexual behavior
  • Substance abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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