University Students’ Health Literacy in Relation to Perceived Parenting Styles

Kristyne Olson


Multiple outcomes have been compared to Diane Baumrind’s parenting styles (Baumrind, 1968), dealing with children, adolescents, and even adults. However, few have investigated the relationship between the perceptions of parenting styles by college students, and the health literacy levels of these same students. This study examined participants’ (N=84) responses to the Adapted Parenting Attribute Questionnaire, the Medical Term Recognition Test (METER), the Short Test of Functional Literacy in Adults (S-TOFHLA), and a variety of questions referring to past and present help-seeking practices. This study explored the relationship between the responsiveness and unresponsiveness of parents, health literacy of students, and the health-seeking habits of students. It was found that the degree of both authoritative and authoritarian parenting styles have a statistically significant correlation with students’ scores on the METER test, but non-significant correlation to their scores on the S-TOFHLA. Additionally, student’s responses determined that the level of awareness regarding available medical services is low, and students rely on parental figures and self- diagnosis when feeling ill.