Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Development and Family Studies

Committee Chair(s)

Troy E. Beckert


Troy E. Beckert


Elizabeth B. Fauth


W. David Robinson


Diana J. Meter


Shane Bench


The purpose of this dissertation was to better understand the way that parents attempt to influence the values that may influence their adolescent children’s behavior and goals. In the first study, we use a newly created questionnaire, the Transmission of Values Scale or TVS, that measures the use of 27 parenting strategies that influence value transmission. Examples of strategies included in the TVS include being an example of good values, encouraging family discussion about values, and even using coercive strategies like guilt to encourage valued behavior. The results of this study found that these strategies work together to explain how families attempt to transmit their values to their children. In the second study, a model of how aspects of the parenting relationship work together to understand how parents influence the development of their children’s values. After an examination of several models of how these components work together, a final model was chosen. In this model, parents’ transmission efforts tended to relate to their children also having the values. Mothers’ and fathers’ parenting influenced the transmission process in unique and complementary ways. The results of these studies are important for parents interested in creating a family environment that will lead their children to be interested in accepting the values of the family. Indeed, parents do have an influence on the values that their children choose for themselves. By creating a healthy and happy family environment where children feel like they belong and are respected, they are more willing to value the same virtues that their parents also value.