Parental bonding: A key factor for mental health of college women

Lynne A. Hall, Ann R. Peden, Mary Kay Rayens, Lora Humphrey Beebe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship of parental bonding to the mental health of college women aged 18 to 24 years. A cross-sectional study of a volunteer sample of 246 college women was conducted. Data on depressive symptoms, negative thinking, self-esteem, and parental bonding were collected via self-report. Maternal care was the strongest predictor of all four mental health indices. Paternal overprotection predicted scores of three of the four mental health measures. Women with optimal maternal and paternal bonding profiles (high care/low overprotection) had fewer depressive symptoms, less negative thinking, and higher self-esteem than women with other bonding profiles. The findings have implications for prevention, screening, and intervention to enhance the mental health of college women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-292
Number of pages16
JournalIssues in Mental Health Nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatric Mental Health


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