Parental Relationship May Help in Millennial's College Transition

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Parental Relationship May Help in Millennial's College Transition

Parents play a major role in makings sure that their children will learn the necessary things they need as they grow up/ Photo By Mark Bowden via 123RF


Going to college is a huge milestone for both parents and their teens. The young ones, specifically, are closer to their dreams of finishing their studies and eventually working on the life they wanted. Young adults can meet new friends, learn a lot of things, and enjoy this phase in their life. Since this is a new chapter that they are about to enter, it is important that parents guide them along the way. 

Parents play a major role in makings sure that their children will learn the necessary things they need as they grow up. Since they are still maturing and learning, they should be guided all the time. Their actions and how they interact with the people around them reflect how they are being raised. Aside from that, it ensures that kids acquire the right knowledge they can carry as adults that are essential in their studies, careers, and life in general. 

Adjusting to college life is not and will never be easy. Young adults are about to live in an unfamiliar environment and meet new people. They will usually be afraid to experience things that can sometimes lead to much bigger problems. An article by the NYU Langone Health reported that there has been a constant rise in the stress levels among college students. This increase is accompanied by a rise in the utilization of mental health and counseling services, showing that they are truly struggling. 

Parental Support and Guidance

Research published in The Journal of Social Psychology conducted by Nathaniel R. Greene, Devin E. Jewell, Julian D. Fuentes, and C. Veronica Smith showed that an important predictor of a millennial’s psychological well-being as they adapt to college life is how their parents or guardians support them. The study aims to evaluate the role of parental relationships in the college transition of their teens, suggesting that parents should meet their psychological needs of competence, autonomy, and relatedness. 

According to an article by the Science Daily, the researchers found out that millennials are less likely to worry about their college transition if they see their parents are supportive of their psychological needs. They can even adjust better in this new chapter of their life. However, it has also been established that there are higher levels of worry and poor psychological well-being when parents are over-controlling or being too much involved in them. 

In an interview, researcher Greene from the University of Missouri stated, "Millennial college students are experiencing poorer psychological health than any other previous generation. An early indication of student's well-being is their initial worry about college but understanding what factors might mitigate worry prior to millennials' transition into college is limited in current research."

An important predictor of a millennial’s psychological well-being as they adapt to college life is how their parents or guardians support them/ Photo By Moodboard via 123RF


Co-author Carrie Veronica Smith stated that they used the Self-Determination Theory to determine if a teens' worry would decrease if their basic psychological needs are met by their parents. These basic psychological needs include feeling effective and capable of competence, being in control of one's actions or autonomy, and feeling close and connected to others or relatedness.

The researchers surveyed more than 355 students during a two-day orientation visit in a public university in the southeast United States. Some of the factors that were looked at were participants' demographics, basic need satisfaction in the parental relationship, family achievement guilt, parental bonding, and others. These were used to determine if higher levels of need satisfaction in the parental relationship were connected with lower levels of worry and achievement guilt in students. 

The findings showed that there's less worry in millennials during college transition who felt that their parents support their needs psychologically. However, it has also been found out that the most significant predictor of worry among the three basic psychological needs is autonomy. This shows that millennials' feel that being in control in their life is probably the most important need in managing concerns about college life. 

Dealing with Change in a College Transition

Parental support and guidance are essential in a teen's college transition. This can be their greatest motivation in adjusting with changes and accepting this new chapter in their life. However, there are several problems that they face, resulting from dropping out of school due to being underprepared, overconfident, and having a lack of realistic expectations in college. 

In an article by HuffPost, the US Census and American College Testing Program reported that there's 34% of an estimated 18 million students enrolled in college in 2008 that have dropped out in their first year. Most of these dropouts have not been able to make a successful transition due to several reasons. According to an article by the College Raptor, it is important that teens learn how to properly deal with change. They should accept that stepping into college life will be very challenging. 

One of the things they should learn and accept is being independent. This is extremely important in college where most changes happen, such as learning to take care of yourself, socializing with other people, and many more. Thus, parents should constantly show their guidance and support to their children since they will be entering a difficult phase in their life. Knowing the signs or symptoms if there's something wrong with them is also important.



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