Helicopter parenting backfires, study shows

September 26, 2012

(Medical Xpress)—If your mom or dad has ever contacted one of your professors, intervened to settle a dispute with your roommates, or hunted for jobs on your behalf, they might be helicopter parents.

And new research by professors at Brigham Young University indicates that, despite their good intentions, helicopter parents' overprotective nature might be the reason their children sometimes skip class and turn in assignments late.

Professors Laura Padilla-Walker and Larry Nelson studied 438 students from four universities around the country (BYU was not in the sample). About one-fourth of the students reported that parents "make important decisions for me." And about one-third of the parents reported that they make for their children.

In their analysis of the data, Padilla-Walker and Nelson found that this seems to backfire in terms of school engagement. As they write in the October issue of the , this is about more than just homework.

"It would seem that emerging adults should be personally invested in their own growth and development by solving their own problems with , making their own decisions about employment, and seeking their own help from professors," write the study authors. "By not doing so, emerging adults may be robbing themselves of the experiences and practice necessary to develop skills that are essential for success in marriage, careers, and adult social interactions."

Explore further: Fathers still matter to kids who have moved out

More information: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22503075

Related Stories

Fathers still matter to kids who have moved out

June 13, 2011

BYU family life professor Larry Nelson's oldest daughter Jessica graduated from high school this spring, so his career researching the transition to adulthood is starting to get personal.

Recommended for you

In analyzing a scene, we make the easiest judgments first

September 3, 2015

Psychology researchers who have hypothesized that we classify scenery by following some order of cognitive priorities may have been overlooking something simpler. New evidence suggests that the fastest categorizations our ...

Forensic examiners pass the face matching test

September 1, 2015

The first study to test the skills of FBI agents and other law enforcers who have been trained in facial recognition has provided a reassuring result - they perform better than the average person or even computers on this ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.