Hyper Parents Can Make College Children DepressedMain Category: Depression
Also Included In: Psychology / Psychiatry
Article Date: 14 Feb 2013
High-energy parents who are still in charge of their college kids' schedules, vacations, and laundry may actually be negatively affecting their children instead of helping them.
A new study published in Springer's Journal of Child and Family Studies identified that these college students are actually more depressed and dissatisfied with life than other students.
The study was led by investigator Holly Schiffrin from Mary Washington University in Virginia, and found that the phenomenon often referred to as "helicopter parenting", had adverse outcomes for college students by undermining their need to feel independent and capable.
Students who had over-controlling parents were found to be more dissatisfied and depressed with their lives. Additionally, the number of hyper-parents rose along with economic fears increasing concerning kids' chances of success.
"You expect parents with younger kids to be very involved but the problem is that these children are old enough to look after themselves and their parents are not backing off. To find parents so closely involved with their college lives, contacting their tutors and running their schedules, is something new and on the increase. It does not allow independence and the chance to learn from mistakes."
The researchers' study was based on an online survey of 297 undergraduate students in the U.S., where students outline their mothers' behavior as well as their own independence. Investigators then analyzed their levels of satisfaction and happiness.
The study set out to answer an important question - How much should parents run their children's lives in order to help them succeed?
The authors suggest that due to an increase in technology, the involvement of parents in their children's college lives has been heightened by texting, emails and messaging, instead of the historic "once-a-week phone call".
The competitive job market and top college slots have also boosted the involvement of parents in the lives of college kids.
In order to prevent this, a growing number of colleges are beginning to start hosting parent orientation days - parallel with the students' events - to help persuade parents to allow their children more independence.
A previous study conducted by the University of Michigan School of Public Health revealed that college students with depression are actually twice as likely to drop out.
Written by Kelly Fitzgerald
Copyright: MediLexicon International Ltd
Original article posted on Medical News Today.
Articles not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today