Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EDD)


Educational and Psychological Studies (Education)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Debbiesiu L. Lee

Second Committee Member

Carol-Anne I. Phekoo

Third Committee Member

Soyeon Ahn

Fourth Committee Member

Timothy P. Watson


The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate how parental roles affect the development of Caribbean college students in the United States. Five student development theories informed the framework for this study: Chickering and Reisser’s Seven Vectors of Development, Phinney’s Model of Ethnic Identity Development, Baxter Magolda’s Theory of Self-Authorship, Diana Baumrind’s Prototypical Descriptions of Four Parenting Styles, and the theory of emerging adulthood. Data were collected using a one-on-one, semi-structured interview format designed to assess student perceptions of their development in college and their relationship with parents. Interviews were conducted via phone, FaceTime, AudioTime and Skype interviews. Thematic analysis was used to identify common themes in students’ experiences regarding the influence parental involvement had on their development. The resulting themes included: (1) Adulthood (2) Independence (3) Identity, and (4) Relationship with Parents. A composite vignette was constructed to describe the overarching experiences that participants reported. The results demonstrated that there are limitations in the application of the five aforementioned student development models when applied to Caribbean college students. In particular, each theory neglected the cultural context of collectivism that affects college student development. Recommendations for how these theories could be altered to better address and encapsulate the particular developmental trends and obstacles of Caribbean students are offered. Implications of study results for postsecondary institutions are discussed.


Caribbean; Students; Development; Parental; Roles