Abstract This study examined event-related brain potentials in college students viewing facial pictures of their parents, celebrities, and strangers in the context of a guessing task. A temporal principal component analysis of data obtained from midline electrode sites was used to extract a component reflecting the mid- to late-positive deflection observed between 200 and 500 ms following stimulus onset. Parent faces elicited enhanced positivity compared to celebrity and stranger faces suggesting greater attention allocation to parent faces. In addition, greater perceived parental support predicted larger factor scores to parent faces relative to non-parent faces. Greater perceived negative interaction with parent, however, attenuated this relationship.