Helicopter parenting can violate college students need to feel autonomous and competent.
Controlling parents who “hover” over their children leave them more likely to be depressed or less satisfied with their lives.
A team from the University of Mary Washington in the United States looked at how parenting behaviour affects the psychological well being of children.
Overall an inappropriate level of parental behavioural control was found to impact negatively on the students
Helicopter parents was also associated with students having perceived lower levels of autonomy, competence and relatedness. This in turn made them more likely to be depressed.
The authors concluded that helicopter parenting is a highly involved, intensive, and hands-on method of parenting.
Their research suggested 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,” they stressed.
The study is published online in Springer’s Journal of Child and Family Studies.