Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



Advisor/Committee Chair

Julia M. Hormes


Chronic illness is widespread and often affects parents, yet the impact of parental chronic illness on emerging adults has been largely ignored by research. The existing literature on the impact of chronic illness on family members suggests spousal and parental caregivers can suffer significant adverse psychological, social, cognitive, and physical consequences. This study was designed to examine the effects of parental chronic illness on children transitioning to adulthood. Participants were asked to complete several questionnaires, which quantified psychosocial and academic functioning of college students. Upon comparing those with parents with chronic illness to those without, we found that emerging adults with a parent with chronic illness have significantly higher levels of anxiety, stress, depression, and significantly lower levels of optimism, yet showed no statistically significant differences in academic performance. This suggests the need for interventions to prevent these adverse effects, and raises questions about causations.

Included in

Psychology Commons