Parental Influence on the Well-Being of College Students

September 16, 2021

Parental Influence on the Well-Being of College Students

Amaura Kemmerer, LICSW 
Executive Vice President of Client Engagement 

Researchers and child development experts have known for decades that parents have significant influence over their child’s well-being in the formative and adolescent years. Less well-known, however, is how far-reaching parental influence appears to be into the college and young adult years. Research shows that parents who engage in a number of strategies play a protective role in their young adult’s life when it comes to behaviors such as substance use as well as mental health and well-being.

Specifically, parents who maintain regular communication with their young adult serve to minimize the chances of high-risk substance use as well as help detect possible mental health issues that may be developing. Additionally, research show that parents who engage in age-appropriate monitoring of their young adult can influence behavior and wellness. This includes communication strategies where parents inquire with their young adult about: how free time is spent, how often and where socializing occurs, whether there is any substance use and how stress and well-being are being managed. While college student mental health and wellness is a multi-faceted issue, parents also have an important role to play.

In her latest Quadcast, College mental health expert, Marcia Morris, MD, Associate Professor at the University of Florida’s Department of Psychiatry and Associate Program Direction for SHCC Psychiatry, brings insight and advice for parents about mental health and covers the four T’s (tips) for parents in supporting their students’ mental health, and how schools and families can help students with serious mental illness thrive at college.

Christie Campus Health and its non-profit affiliate, the Mary Christie Institute, are dedicated to the emotional wellbeing of college students and supporting students’ mental health when and where they need it. To listen to Dr. Morris’s Quadcast click HERE.

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