Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts - Psychology



First Advisor

Lauren E. Brewer, PhD

Second Advisor

Dusty Jenkins, PhD

Third Advisor

Lora Jacobi, PhD

Fourth Advisor

Flora Farago, PhD


With a growing number of parents pursuing academia, it is imperative that researchers understand the social environment in which parent-students function. Stereotypes of parent-students may be held by peers, faculty, and other educational supervisors. Across two previous independent studies, evidence and rationale were provided to suggest that both positive and negative perceptions of parent-students exist, with noted differences between gender. The purpose of the current 2x2x2 between-subjects study was to analyze the social perceptions of students enrolled in higher education as varied by parenthood status, age, and gender. The social perceptions included measures accounting for perceptions of intelligence and academic success, personality, and level of parental involvement. Findings indicated a significant difference in perceptions of intelligence and academic success across age and parenthood status, such that parents were perceived as more friendly and hardworking in academia, and younger parent-students particularly were perceived to choose more difficult academic majors as compared to their same-age, childless counterparts. The findings of this study, both statistically significant and non-significant, contribute to the expansion of the limited knowledge base of perceptions of parent-students.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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