*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on Parentology.
The notion of helicopter parenting has become more prevalent and largely associated with parents of young children. A new Florida State University (FSU) study finds helicopter parenting continues well into young adulthood and can have devastating impacts on college students.
The FSU study surveyed over 400 college students and found a direct correlation between helicopter parenting and student burnout. Ross W. May, Ph.D. — co-author of the study, and a research assistant professor and associate director of The Florida State University Family Institute — defined it for Parentology as, “Helicopter parenting involves parenting behaviors considered overinvolved, overprotective, and overcontrolling in respect to their child’s age and ability.”
For children to successfully mature into young adulthood, they need to develop and utilize self-control. “Emerging adulthood is a time in which individuals assume more adult responsibilities, thus, helicopter parenting at this stage is likely to interfere with a healthy developmental trajectory,” May states.
Helicopter parenting essentially robs children of the opportunity to develop self-control and competently manage themselves and their emotions.
While most helicopter parents’ behavior begins as an attempt to ensure a child’s success, this research shows it may have the opposite effect. Students lacking self-control often feel overwhelmed by the demands and stresses associated with college, which can lead to burnout. Students suffering from burnout are more likely to have lower grades, drop out of school, and suffer from more severe conditions like anxiety or depression.