Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Child Development



First Reader/Committee Chair

Campbell, Kelly


Parentification is a parent-child role reversal wherein the parent abdicates their parental responsibilities towards the child and the child responds by performing caretaking behaviors towards their parent. Parentification has previously been examined using a Western theoretical framework and with European/White Americans samples. Within the parentification literature, feelings of loneliness have been mentioned as an outcome of parentified individuals; however, the topic had yet to be examined empirically and with an ethnically diverse sample. The current study investigated parentification and feelings of loneliness across African/Black, Latinx, and European/White American individuals. It was found that ethnic minorities experienced higher levels of parentification compared to European/White American individuals. Despite the differences in parentification, feelings of loneliness were similar across the ethnic groups. Overall, the findings highlight the need to consider ethnic and cultural variations when examining parentification and feelings of loneliness. The limitations and implications of this study are discussed.