Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Helicopter parenting can violate students' basic needs

Date:
February 12, 2013
Source:
Springer Science+Business Media
Summary:
When is it time for parents to back away? A new study shows that college students with overcontroling parents are more likely to be depressed and less satisfied with their lives. This so-called helicopter parenting style negatively affects students' well-being by violating their need to feel both autonomous and competent. Parental overinvolvement may lead to negative outcomes in children, including higher levels of depression and anxiety. Studies also suggest that children of overinvolved or overcontroling parents may feel less competent and less able to manage life and its stressors. In contrast, evidence suggests that some parental involvement in children's lives facilitates healthy development, both emotionally and socially.

When is it time for parents to back away? A new study shows that college students with overcontrolling parents are more likely to be depressed and less satisfied with their lives. This so-called helicopter parenting style negatively affects students' well-being by violating their need to feel both autonomous and competent.

Related Articles


The work, by Holly Schiffrin and colleagues from the University of Mary Washington in the United States, is published online in Springer's Journal of Child and Family Studies.

Parental overinvolvement may lead to negative outcomes in children, including higher levels of depression and anxiety. Studies also suggest that children of overinvolved or overcontrolling parents may feel less competent and less able to manage life and its stressors. In contrast, evidence suggests that some parental involvement in children's lives facilitates healthy development, both emotionally and socially.

Children's need for autonomy increases over time as they strive to become independent young adults. Among college administrators, concern is shared that parents do not adjust their level of involvement and control as their child grows up and, instead, practice helicopter parenting.

Schiffrin and her team examined how parenting behaviors affect the psychological well-being of children by looking at college students' self-determination. A total of 297 American undergraduate students, aged 18-23 years, answered an online survey. They were asked to describe their mothers' parenting behaviors, rate their own perceptions of their autonomy, competence, and relatedness (i.e., how well they get along with other people). The researchers also assessed the students' overall satisfaction with life, their level of anxiety, and whether or not they suffered depressive symptoms.

Overall, an inappropriate level of parental behavioral control was linked to negative well-being outcomes for students. Helicopter parenting behaviors were related to higher levels of depression and decreased satisfaction with life. In addition, helicopter parenting behaviors were associated with lower levels of perceived autonomy, competence, and relatedness. And those who perceived they had less autonomy and competence were also more likely to be depressed.

The authors conclude that helicopter parenting is a highly involved, intensive, and hands-on method of parenting. Their research suggests that intense involvement is considered by some parents to be supportive, whereas it may actually be perceived as controlling and undermining by their children. "Parents should keep in mind how developmentally appropriate their involvement is and learn to adjust their parenting style when their children feel that they are hovering too closely."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer Science+Business Media. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Holly H. Schiffrin, Miriam Liss, Haley Miles-McLean, Katherine A. Geary, Mindy J. Erchull, Taryn Tashner. Helping or Hovering? The Effects of Helicopter Parenting on College Students’ Well-Being. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 2013; DOI: 10.1007/s10826-013-9716-3

Cite This Page:

Springer Science+Business Media. "Helicopter parenting can violate students' basic needs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130212111803.htm>.
Springer Science+Business Media. (2013, February 12). Helicopter parenting can violate students' basic needs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 4, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130212111803.htm
Springer Science+Business Media. "Helicopter parenting can violate students' basic needs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130212111803.htm (accessed March 4, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mom Triumphs Over Tragedy, Helps Other Families

Mom Triumphs Over Tragedy, Helps Other Families

AP (Mar. 3, 2015) After her son, Dax, died from a rare form of leukemia, Julie Locke decided to give back to the doctors at St. Jude Children&apos;s Research Hospital who tried to save his life. She raised $1.6M to help other patients and their families. (March 3) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Looted and Leaking, South Sudan's Oil Wells Pose Health Risk

Looted and Leaking, South Sudan's Oil Wells Pose Health Risk

AFP (Mar. 3, 2015) Thick black puddles and a looted, leaking ruin are all that remain of the Thar Jath oil treatment facility, once a crucial part of South Sudan&apos;s mainstay industry. Duration: 01:13 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Woman Convicted of Poisoning Son

Woman Convicted of Poisoning Son

AP (Mar. 3, 2015) A woman who blogged for years about her son&apos;s constant health woes was convicted Monday of poisoning him to death by force-feeding heavy concentrations of sodium through his stomach tube. (March 3) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Treadmill Test Can Predict Chance Of Death Within A Decade

Treadmill Test Can Predict Chance Of Death Within A Decade

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) Johns Hopkins researchers analyzed 58,000 heart stress tests to come up with a formula that predicts a person&apos;s chances of dying in the next decade. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins