There has been another strike against over-involved, “helicopter” parenting: researchers discovered that parenting overkill has the potential to make college students feel incompetent, which leads to depression.
Psychologist Holly Schiffrin of the University of Mary Washington said “There’s been a lot of talk about how these helicopter parents are bad.” However, she also said that there has not been enough research.
While some researchers are discovering that hovering parents are harming their children, but no one has looked into why this type of parenting could be harmful.
In a study published in the Journal of Child and Family Studies, Schiffrin and her co-authors interviewed 297 undergrads, mostly females in college.
The researchers asked students to what degree they agreed with certain statements such as if they were having trouble with their roommate if their mother would get involved or if they got an unfair low grad would their mother intervene.
There isn’t any established scale for helicopter parenting, so the authors of the study took these statements from books, news articles and their own experiences as professors on the subject. They also focused on mothers becasue there have more exhaustive studies on their effect on their kids, however, in the future they want to also look at helicopter fathers.
A questionnaire was also given to asses their depression level, feelings of competence and autonomy as well as their satisfaction level with life.
Researchers discovered that students with high levels of helicopter parenting were more likely to be depressed and weren’t as satisfied with life than kids with less involved parents. They believe the reason is because of how helicopter parenting made the students feel while they were growing up.