7 Charts to Explain College Students’ Relationships With Their Mothers

Today is Mother’s Day in the United States, and to celebrate mother’s everywhere, we uncovered the top stats on student opinion of their mothers. These stats are based on last year’s Mother’s Day poll conducted among 14,490 students attending four-year colleges or universities across the United States. To find the correlations, we used College Pulse Insights — our predictive intelligence and statistical analysis platform.

1) 75% of students say their mother was the most important caregiver in their life.

Growing up, who was the most important caregiver or parental influence in your life?

Mother’s impact the world. A large majority (75 percent) of students say their mother was the most important caregiver in their life.

2) 59% of students say their relationship with their parents is better since coming to college.

Since coming to college, would you say that your relationship with your parents has become better or worse?

Having a child leave the nest can be hard, but mothers can rest easy knowing their bond with their child will likely grow while their kid is away at school.

3) The closer students are with their mother, the more likely they are to be happy.

Percent of students saying they are “very” or “extremely” happy

44.4 percent of students who say they are “extremely close” with their mother say they are “very” or “extremely” happy, compared with 37.6% of students overall.

4) Students whose mothers were present growing up are more likely to want kids of their own some day.

Percent of students who want to have children someday

67.6 percent of students who say their mother was “extremely present” during childhood also say they would like to have children of their own someday, compared with 61.3 percent of who said their mother was “very present,” 50.3 percent who said their mother was “somewhat present,” and 43.2 percent who said their mother was “not too present.”

5) Daughters are nearly 1.5X more likely to fight with their mothers than sons.

Percent of students who “frequently” or “very frequently” fought with their mother growing up

38 percent of daughters say they “frequently” or “very frequently” fight with their mother, compared with 26 percent of sons who say the same.

6) Female students say the ideal age to have their first child is 28 years old.

What do you think is the best age to have a first child?
(Mean = 27.54, Median = 28, Mode = 28)

According to 19,002 female students, the median “best age to have children” is 28-years-old. Most female students will likely be celebrating on the other end of Mother’s Day less than a decade after graduating from college. Mothers with college-aged daughters will not have to wait too long to add a “grand-” before their title.

7) Students who give their parents a low grade are more likely to have had suicidal thoughts.

Parental Grades vs. Percent of students who have had suicidal thoughts

Only 36.8 percent of students who give their parents an “A+” grade have had suicidal thoughts, compared with 91.2 percent of students who give their parents an “F”.

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Methodology: This poll was designed and conducted by College Pulse. Interviews were conducted among a sample of 14,490 full-time and part-time students attending four-year colleges or universities in the U.S. who are part of College Pulse’s American College Student Panel. To reduce the effects of any non-response bias, a post-stratification adjustment was applied based on demographic distributions from the 2017 Current Population Survey (CPS). The post-stratification weight rebalanced the sample based on the following benchmarks: age, race and ethnicity, and gender. The sample weighting was accomplished using an iterative proportional fitting (IFP) process that simultaneously balances the distributions of all variables. Weights were trimmed to prevent individual interviews from having too much influence on the final results.

About College Pulse: College Pulse is a leading online survey and analytics company dedicated to understanding the attitudes, preferences, and behaviors of today’s college students. College Pulse offers custom data-driven marketing and research solutions, utilizing its unique American College Student Panel and online analytics platform which provides insight to brands, companies, and organizations. College Pulse’s platform includes 240,000 undergraduate college student respondents from more than 800 four-year colleges and universities in all 50 states. To learn more about College Pulse, please contact Jake@collegepulse.com.