Date of Award


Degree Name

School Psychology


Graduate School of Education and Professional Development

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Sandra S. Stroebel

Second Advisor

R. Vernon Haning

Third Advisor

Lanai Jennings


This study investigated the effects of nuclear family dynamics on childhood crushes and adult sexual orientation. Retrospective data was gathered via an anonymous survey administered using a computer-assisted self-interview program. Data was collected from 1,242 non-transsexual males (age range 18-86) and 2,201 non-transsexual females (age range 18-78). Management of parental disagreements, maternal attitude about sex, parental composition of the nuclear family, maternal affection, and parental demonstration of affection predicted the sex of childhood crushes in males and/or females. Management of parental disagreement, parental attitude about sex, nudity practices within the home, parental demonstration of affection, and parental composition of the nuclear family predicted adult sexual orientation in males and/or females. Crush frequency as a child, opposite-sex crushes before/after puberty, and same-sex crushes after puberty predicted adult sexual orientation in males and/or females. These results suggest that nuclear family dynamics and childhood/adolescent crushes affect adult sexual orientation.


School psychology.

Sexual orientation -- Research.