Master of Arts in Higher Education (MAHE) Theses

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Todd Ream

Second Advisor

Steve Bedi

Third Advisor

Scott Gaier


Research showed parenting styles (authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive) significantly influence child and adolescent development. Other studies consistently highlighted the many changes in an individual’s spirituality during his or her time at college. However, little research exists examining the overlap of parenting styles during childhood and spiritual change during college, and the present study focused on this intersection. The present study examined the relationship between parental control and parental responsiveness—two key traits in the well-developed theory of parenting styles and spiritual change in college. The study analyzed data from the National Study of Youth and Religion to examine this relationship. The results of the current study indicated a small but significant relationship between parental control and parental responsiveness and its effect on the spiritual development of college students.