Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 19–38 | Cite as

Emerging Adults’ Stress and Health: The Role of Parent Behaviors and Cognitions

  • Reesa Donnelly
  • Kimberly RenkEmail author
  • Cliff McKinney
Original Article


Although parent behaviors and cognitions are important for stress/health outcomes throughout development, little research examines whether cognitions mediate the relationship between parent behaviors and stress/health outcomes. As a result, the current study examined the reports of 160 emerging adults regarding their mothers’ and fathers’ behaviors (via the Parental Bonding Instrument and Alabama Parenting Questionnaire), their cognitions (via the Stress Appraisal Measure, Negative Mood Regulation Scale, Life Orientation Test-Revised, General Self-Efficacy Scale, and Ruminative Response Scale-Abbreviated), and their stress/health outcomes (via the Perceived Stress Scale and Short-Form Health Survey). Results of this study suggested that emerging adults’ cognitions partially mediated the relationship between their mothers’ behaviors and their stress/health outcomes and fully mediated the relationship between their fathers’ behaviors and their stress/health outcomes. Future research should examine parent behaviors as important distal variables in emerging adults’ stress/health outcomes but should examine cognitions as more salient, immediate predictors of their stress/health outcomes.


Emerging adult Stress Health Parent Cognition 



We would like to thank Drs. Jeffrey Bedwell and Richard Gilson for their comments on the original manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical and Health PsychologyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Central FloridaOrlandoUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyMississippi State UniversityMississippi StateUSA

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