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You are here: Home / News / Congratulations, Piumi Rajasekera!

Congratulations, Piumi Rajasekera!

Congratulations to our Piumi Rajasekera in successfully defending her Master's thesis! Piumi is one of Dr. Kristin Buss's staff members stationed at our PACT (Parents and Children Together) center located in Harrisburg, PA. Take a look below to see the details of her thesis!

Title: The Role of Perceived Parenting, Religiousness, and Spirituality on Internalizing Problems During the First Year of College

Abstract: The first year of college is often a difficult time of psychological adjustment for many young people. This study explored the links between parenting factors (maternal/paternal care and overprotection), parent-child communication, religiousness, and spirituality in a sample of first-year college students (N = 67). Students completed a questionnaire, which assessed their retrospective perception of their parents’ parenting behaviors during the first 16 years of life, the current frequency of parent-child communication, and students’ level of religiousness and spirituality. Results indicated that first-year college students who perceived their mothers and fathers to be more caring reported less depression, anxiety, and stress. Additionally, those who perceived their mothers to be more overprotective reported higher levels depression. Higher spirituality was linked with lower levels of depression, whereas religiousness was not significantly associated with internalizing problems. Furthermore, the results of this study also demonstrated that daily communication with parents was linked with better mental health when parents were perceived as more caring. Interestingly, daily parent-child communication was associated with worse psychological outcomes when students perceived their parents to be less caring.