Date of Award

Summer 2019

Project Type


Program or Major

Human Development and Family Studies

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Tyler Jamison

Second Advisor

Corinna Tucker

Third Advisor

Barbara Frankel


Romantic relationship experiences are related to experiences in the family of origin such as parenting, parents’ romantic history, and patterns of interaction within families. However, there is a lack of research about how adult children perceive their socialization about romantic relationships. This study used qualitative data from relationship history interviews (N= 35) to explore how adults discuss their parents’ influence on their romantic relationship development. The findings suggest that the level of support, love, and affirmation they perceived from their parents in childhood was reflected in their adulthood intimate relationships. Moreover, participants viewed their parents as either good or bad role models, and they adjusted their partner choices and their behavior in relationships based on whether they wanted to be like their parents or avoid being like their parents. The findings suggest that parents’ influence on romantic socialization is still relevant in adulthood.