Factors related to perceived parental approval of adult sons’ and daughters’ heterosexual engagements


parental approval, engaged couples, adult children


This study examined factors that may predict perceived parental approval of an adult child's heterosexual engagement relationship as parental approval has been shown in previous studies to be an important predictor of later couple quality and stability. A total of 4175 engaged individuals completed the RELATE inventory. Among the items in the questionnaire were measures of perceived parental approval of the relationship, parents’ marital quality, autonomy from the family of origin and couple relationship quality. The individuals also reported their age, education, length of their relationship, parents’ marital status and parents’ socioeconomic status. The results showed that adult sons’ and daughters’ age, parental marital quality, autonomy and couple relationship quality predicted parental approval. Length of the relationship and parental marital status did not influence parental approval for either gender. Clinical implications and directions for future research are discussed.

Original Publication Citation

Larson, J. F., Malnar, M., & Busby, D. M. (2016). Factors Related to Perceived Parental Approval of Adult Sons’ and Daughters’ Engagement Relationships. Journal of Family Therapy, 28, 364-385.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL



Journal of Family Therapy




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor