Helping or Hovering? The Effects of Helicopter Parenting on College Students' Well-Being

Schiffrin, Holly; Liss, Miriam; Miles-McLean, Haley; Geary, Katherine; Erchull, Mindy; Tashner, Taryn
April 2014
Journal of Child & Family Studies;Apr2014, Vol. 23 Issue 3, p548
Academic Journal
Parental involvement is related to many positive child outcomes, but if not developmentally appropriate, it can be associated with higher levels of child anxiety and depression. Few studies have examined the effects of over-controlling parenting, or 'helicopter parenting,' in college students. Some studies have found that college students of over-controlling parents report feeling less satisfied with family life and have lower levels of psychological well-being. This study examined self-determination theory as the potential underlying mechanism explaining this relationship. College students ( N = 297) completed measures of helicopter parenting, autonomy supportive parenting, depression, anxiety, satisfaction with life, and basic psychological needs satisfaction. Students who reported having over-controlling parents reported significantly higher levels of depression and less satisfaction with life. Furthermore, the negative effects of helicopter parenting on college students' well-being were largely explained by the perceived violation of students' basic psychological needs for autonomy and competence.


Related Articles

  • Does Positivity Matter? The Impact of Interparental Interactions on Young Adult Conflict Management. Delevi, Raquel; Cornille, Thomas; Cui, Ming // Contemporary Family Therapy: An International Journal;Mar2012, Vol. 34 Issue 1, p124 

    The main purpose of our study was to examine the impact of positive inter-parental interactions on the conflict management of young adults. Based on social cognitive theory (SCT), it was hypothesized that exposure to interparental positive interactions would mediate the intergenerational...

  • The Jingle-Jangle Fallacy in Adolescent Autonomy in the Family: In Search of an Underlying Structure. Van Petegem, Stijn; Vansteenkiste, Maarten; Beyers, Wim // Journal of Youth & Adolescence;Jul2013, Vol. 42 Issue 7, p994 

    The construct of autonomy has a rich, though quite controversial, history in adolescent psychology. The present investigation aimed to clarify the meaning and measurement of adolescent autonomy in the family. Based on theory and previous research, we examined whether two dimensions would...

  • Parenting Dimensions and Internalizing Difficulties in Italian and U.S. Emerging Adults: The Intervening Role of Autonomy and Relatedness. Inguglia, Cristiano; Ingoglia, Sonia; Liga, Francesca; Lo Coco, Alida; Lo Cricchio, Maria; Musso, Pasquale; Cheah, Charissa; Gutow, Mindy; Lim, Hui // Journal of Child & Family Studies;Feb2016, Vol. 25 Issue 2, p419 

    The present study examined the associations between emerging adults' perceived parental psychological control and autonomy support, and their autonomy, relatedness and internalizing difficulties in Italy and the U.S. The participants included 494 Italian and 414 U.S. college students, between 18...

  • Differentiation of Self, Stress, and Emotional Support as Predictors of Psychological Distress. Krycak, Romana; Murdock, Nancy; Marszalek, Jacob // Contemporary Family Therapy: An International Journal;Dec2012, Vol. 34 Issue 4, p495 

    We explored the relations among stress, emotional support, and differentiation of self from the family of origin as predictors of psychological distress in a sample of 200 college students. First, we investigated the discrepant findings of Murdock and Gore (Contemp Fam Ther 23: 319-335, ) and...

  • Parents' View of Child Care Quality: Values, Evaluations, and Satisfaction. Scopelliti, Massimiliano; Musatti, Tullia // Journal of Child & Family Studies;Nov2013, Vol. 22 Issue 8, p1025 

    Parents' view of the quality of early childhood education and care services has mostly been addressed from the perspective of customer satisfaction. This study investigated parents' view within a more comprehensive framework in which parents' values of child care, their evaluations of their...

  • Factor Analytic Structure and Validity of the Parental Feelings Inventory: A Brief Report. Bradley, Elizabeth; Hurwitz, Sara; Harvey, Elizabeth; Hodgson, Sarah; Perugini, Eve // Journal of Child & Family Studies;Aug2013, Vol. 22 Issue 6, p801 

    Previous research has highlighted the important role of parental emotions in parent-child interactions and child development. The present study presents the Parental Feelings Inventory (PFI), a new rating scale designed to assess parental emotions within the parenting role. The PFI presents...

  • Psychometric properties of a Russian version of the Social Support Questionnaire (SSQ6) in eastern European immigrants. TEIXEIRA DE ALMEIDA VIEIRA MONTEIRO, ANA PAULA // Contemporary Nurse: A Journal for the Australian Nursing Profess;2011, Vol. 39 Issue 2, p157 

    Background: The concept of social support and its relationship to physical health and psychological well-being has been well documented. The Social Support Questionnaire [Sarason, Sarason, Shearin, & Pierce (1987) A brief measure of social support: Practical and theoretical implications. Journal...

  • College Student Bereavement Experience in a Christian University. Walker, Andrea C.; Hathcoat, John D.; Noppe, Illene C. // Omega: Journal of Death & Dying;2011/2012, Vol. 64 Issue 3, p241 

    As part of the National College Grief Study, college student bereavement experience was examined specifically in a Christian university climate. Sex, year in school, and closeness to the deceased were measured in terms of academic and mental health outcomes and resources utilized. Females...

  • Identifying Mediators of the Influence of Family Factors on Risky Sexual Behavior. Simons, Leslie; Burt, Callie; Tambling, Rachel // Journal of Child & Family Studies;May2013, Vol. 22 Issue 4, p460 

    Participation in risky sexual behaviors has many deleterious consequences and is a source of concern for parents as well as practitioners, researchers, and public policy makers. Past research has examined the effect of family structure and supportive parenting on risky sexual behaviors among...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics