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Alternative Title

Building typologies of psychopathology from a clinical sample of millennial emerging adults : an exploratory study

Publication Date


Document Type


Study Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School for Social Work


Failure-to-launch, Millennials, Narcissism, Shame, Parenting


This qualitative study explored previously-collected clinical data to construct diagnostic typologies of psychopathology from a sample of 29 psychiatric reports. These reports described the struggles to launch of 18 male and 11 female millennial emerging adults. This study also described patterns of family dynamics and generational trends which accompany these struggles. The study utilized developmental theory, generational studies on narcissism, and failure-to- launch literature to inform this exploration. The findings supported that emerging adults in the sample suffered from a combination of diagnoses of clinical syndromes, substance use issues, and personality disorders or problematic personality traits. Traits of vulnerable narcissism appeared most frequently in the sample as did the combination of narcissistic, avoidant, and dependent personality traits. The study demonstrated that clinical disorders, family dynamics, parenting styles, and sociocultural themes mutually-influenced and co-created typologies of psychopathology residing along a spectrum of biopsychosocial functioning in this sample.


©2018 Marki L. McMillan. Access limited to the Smith College community and other researchers on campus. Smith College community members also may access from off-campus using a Smith College log-in. Other off-campus researchers may request a copy through Interlibrary Loan for personal use.




v, 192 pages. Includes bibliographical references (pages 123-128)