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The Relations between Parentification, Psychological Health, Stress, and Academic Performance among African American Young Adults

April 11, 2022

Age-appropriate responsibilities are not harmful until the tasks become overwhelming, and the child neglects one's own basic needs to cater to their parent (Hooper et al., 2020). This is a form of neglect called parentification. Studies on parentification commonly examined the ethnic difference between European Americans and African Americans, but few studies solely focus on African Americans young adults' psychological health and academic performance. This quantitative research explored the past experience of filial responsibility within the family of origin in 157 African Americans ranging in age from 18-30 (M=20.31; SD=2.82) living in the South Atlantic Region. This research also analyzed the relations between parentification, psychological health, stress, and academic performance in the current sample (79.6% Females, 19.1% males, three identified as cisgender, one identified as transgender, and two as identified non-binary). Overall, participants recruited from a Historical Black University located in the South Atlantic Region' current psychological health and stress level were significantly positively correlated with parentification. Participants' amotivation, extrinsic motivation, and intrinsic motivation were significantly negatively correlated with parentification. Male’s depression, anxiety, and somatization scores were significantly positively correlated with parentification compared to females. Future research should compare African/Black descendant origins (Haitian, Dominica, Afro-Latin Americans, and more) between parentification for correlations differences to make treatment of parentification culturally appropriate. The finding of this study shows that African Americans are impacted by parentification, and there is a difference between genders.  

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