2023 SPPAC Tran

Tran, S. T., Ricart, B., Paredes Cienega, P., Raftery-Helmer, J., & Stoner, A. (2023, March). The influence of parenting styles on emerging adults’ pain [Poster presentation]. Society of Pediatric Psychology’s 2023 Annual Conference, Chicago, IL.

The Influence of Parenting Styles on Emerging Adults’ Pain

Susan T. Tran, PhD1 Brittany Ricart, BA1, Paulina Paredes Cienega, BA1, Jacquelyn N. Raftery-Helmer PhD2, Alison M. Stoner PhD3,4

1DePaul University, 2Worcester State University, 3Brightline, 4UMass Medical School


Introduction: Parenting styles influence youth outcomes. For example, higher parental control and lower involvement lead to greater youth difficulties. Furthermore, solicitous parenting behavior is related to youths’ higher pain. During COVID-19, many emerging adult (EA) returned to caregiver homes, possibly disrupting autonomy. However, we know little about how parenting styles influence EA pain. This study aims to investigate whether 1) parenting styles influence EA pain and 2) living situation moderates the relationship between parenting style and EA pain.

Methods:1057 undergraduate students (74% White, non-Hispanic, 19% Hispanic, 9% Asian, 7% Black, 7% Multiracial; Mage 19.85) were recruited from three universities. Participants reported pain intensity, frequency, duration, and participant’s perception of caregiver behavior (About My Mother scale; participant specified which caregiver they considered).

Results: EA with no pain reported higher parental autonomy support F(987) = 10.12, p<.001, involvement F(999) = 10.79, p<.001, and structure F(1007) = 11.37, p<.001 compared to EA with acute and chronic pain. Overall, more frequent pain days were associated with lower parental autonomy support, r(992) = -.15, p<.001, involvement r(1006) = -.16, p<.001, and structure r(1014) = -.13, p<.001, as well as higher parental control r(1012) = .06, p=.047. Higher pain intensity was associated with lower parental autonomy support r(616) = -.12, p=.003, involvement r(625) = -.11, p=.004, and structure r(628) = -.10, p=.014. Living status moderated the relationship between parental involvement and pain intensity such that those not living at home had lower pain intensity when parent involvement was higher (β = .04, p=.044). 

Conclusions: Findings suggest higher autonomy and parental involvement may be protective among EA with pain. Further examination into how parenting styles impact dimensions of EA pain is needed.


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