Communication Studies, Department of


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Published in Communication Education 61:1 (January 2012), pp. 44–66; doi: 10.1080/03634523.2011.620617 Copyright © 2012 National Communication Association; published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group. Used by permission.


This study investigated various aspects of parents’ memorable messages about college as they relate to indicators of college student success. Findings revealed that parents’ memorable messages about college focused on working (and playing) hard, the necessity of attending college, providing encouragement and support, and general advice based on parents’ own experiences. Although these message themes were not uniquely predictive of college student success, the students’ perceptions of message and sender characteristics emerged as significant predictors of cognitive learning indicators, learner empowerment, college motivation, and satisfaction with college. Theoretical and practical implications for findings are discussed.

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