Master of Arts in Higher Education Theses

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Skip Trudeau

Second Advisor

Scott Moeschberger

Third Advisor

Todd Ream


Parental involvement in the college student experience has been perceived previously as negative and debilitating to growth and the development of the student’s autonomy and involvement within the institution. While this is confirmed in certain cases, the complexity of the parent/student relationship makes it difficult to generalize all parental involvement as negative. Mattanah et al. (2004) summarized a growing body of evidence proposing that both a secure attachment relationship to parents and a healthy level of separation-individuation are foretelling of constructive academic, social, and personal-emotional adjustment to college. This research looks to explore the correlation between a student’s perceived parental involvement and the level of engagement with the institution academically and socially. Quantitative data was collected and correlated using the Parental Involvement Survey and the NSSE 2.0 Pilot survey. Results indicated a zero to slightly positive correlation between the two scales, suggesting healthy parental involvement as a potential asset for an institution looking to promote student involvement.