Transitions in young adulthood: Exploring trajectories of parent-child conflict during college

Sarah C. Nelson, Nazneen F. Bahrassa, Moin Syed, Rich Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


This longitudinal study examined trajectories of parent- child conflict from the perspective of young adults during their college years. Using group-based trajectory modeling, self-report data from 3 time points were analyzed and 4 conflict trajectories emerged. The largest group of students (65%) had low, stable levels of parent- child conflict. Ten percent of the sample reported increases in parent- child conflict, and the remainder (25%) reported 1 of 2 patterns of decreasing parent- child conflict. Students with at least 1 immigrant parent were more likely to experience changes in parent- child conflict in contrast to peers with no immigrant parents. Contrary to our hypotheses, individuals in the groups in which conflict was decreasing were more likely to experience psychological distress. Results are discussed in terms of implications for the heterogeneity of conflict trajectories over time, particularly considering the contextual influence of immigrant family status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)545-551
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of counseling psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 American Psychological Association.


  • College
  • Group-based trajectory modeling
  • Parent- child conflict
  • Young adulthood


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