Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication, Department of


First Advisor

Gina S. Matkin

Date of this Version


Document Type



A thesis presented to the faculty of the Graduate College at the University of Nebraska in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Applied Science

Major: Applied Science

Under the supervision of Professor Gina S. Matkin

Lincoln, Nebraska, May 2015


Copyright 2015, Melissa S. Fenton


Leadership scholars have identified the need for research investigating the developmental antecedents of leadership (Avolio, 2007; Day 2011b; Murphy & Johnson, 2011). Although leadership scholars investigated the relationship between parenting and leadership, there was a gap in the leadership literature analyzing the impact of parental psychological control. This descriptive study explored the relationship between the five factor personality model, parental psychological control, and emergent leadership behaviors in emerging adults. Participants were emailed a survey including measures of the Big Five personality traits, affective-identity motivation to lead (Chan & Drasgow, 2001), leadership self-efficacy, parental psychological control, and self-reported formal and informal leadership positions. Parental psychological control was not significantly related to affective-identity motivation to lead (Chan & Drasgow, 2001), leadership self-efficacy, or leadership position. Extraversion, conscientiousness, and neuroticism were related to affective-identity motivation to lead (Chan & Drasgow, 2001), but were not related to leadership self-efficacy or leadership position. Agreeableness and openness to experience were not significantly related to any of the measures of emergent leadership. This study is significant as it is one of the first studies to successfully test the combination of the PCS-YSR (Barber, 1996) and PCDS (Barber et al., 2012) to measure parental psychological control and investigate the relationship between parental psychological control and emergent leadership. This study replicated findings from previous studies (Chan & Drasgow, 2001; Hendricks & Payne, 2007; Ng, Ang, & Chan, 2008) and further validated the measures used to measure emergent leader behaviors, parental psychological control, and the five-factor model of personality. The findings support the importance of access to leadership positions in emerging adulthood and contribute to the parenting and leadership literature.

Adviser: Gina Matkin