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: Study shows how much parents pay for college

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

Related Stories

Study shows how much parents pay for college

April 17, 2012

While you’ve heard of the “mom and dad scholarship,” new research clears up some of the mystery about the number and scope of these grants given to today’s college students from their parents.

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

Study reveals areas of the brain impacted by PTSD

January 23, 2017

Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and the VA Boston Healthcare System are one step closer to understanding the specific nature of brain changes associated with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Where belief in free will is linked to happiness

January 23, 2017

Western and Asian cultures tend to have different core beliefs around free will. In a recent study published in Frontiers in Psychology, Jingguang Li, professor at Dali University, and his research team show the link between ...

For health and happiness, share good news

January 22, 2017

Service members, including both active and recently separated, have been called upon to fight overseas and to assist during natural disasters at home. They can face unique challenges when they return in both the workplace ...

The great unknown—risk-taking behaviour in adolescents

January 19, 2017

Adolescents are more likely to ignore information that could prompt them to rethink risky decisions. This may explain why information campaigns on risky behaviors such as drug abuse tend to have only limited success. These ...

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.