Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Human Development and Family Studies

Department name when degree awarded

Family and Human Development

Committee Chair(s)

Brent C. Miller


Brent C. Miller


Sharyn Crossman


Brian Pitcher


A longitudinal research design was used to determine if parents' personal well-being or marital relations changed after the launching of the youngest child and what variales might affect these potential changes.

Eighty-nine parents whose youngest child was a senior at Logan High School or Sky View High School responded to mail-out questionnaires, assessing parents general well-being, marital relations, marital companionship, personal stress, quality of parenting experiences and degree of parent-child conflict. Approximately one year later, a second questionnaire was sent and twenty-three of the parents who responded had launched their youngest child.

One of the most striking aspects of the results of this study was the general lack of statistically significant findings. For most individuals, launching of the youngest child had little positive or negative affect on parents personal well-being or marital relations.

Significant relationships were found for parents who had low quality parenting experiences or whose relationships with their youngest child tended to be conflictful. These findings suggest that low quality parenting experiences or high amounts of parent-child conflict negatively impact personal well-being and marital relations and that the launching of the youngest child lessens the negative impact of these two variables. The exception to this finding was that low quality parenting experiences was significantly r elated to parents' marital satisfaction regardless of whether or not the youngest child left home.