Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 26, Issue 8, pp 2291–2298 | Cite as

The Relationship between Helicopter Parenting and Adjustment to College

  • Veronica Darlow
  • Jill M. NorvilitisEmail author
  • Pamela Schuetze
Original Paper


As the entry into adulthood has become delayed, parental involvement in young adults’ lives has increased. However, parental overinvolvement may have negative consequences on development. This study examined the role of helicopter parenting and its effects on anxiety, depression, self-efficacy and adjustment to college among 294 college students. It was hypothesized that students with parents who are overly controlling will have higher levels of anxiety and depression and lower levels of self-efficacy, leading to poorer college adjustment, as evidenced by grade point average, academic adjustment, and social adjustment to college. The structural model was generally supported by the data, indicating an indirect effect of helicopter parenting on college adjustment, thus confirming the importance of the relationship between healthy parenting and college student mental health and, subsequently, student success. The study also examined student preferences for parental intervention, finding that students reporting more overparenting were less likely to desire parental intervention.


Parenting College adjustment Academic 


Author Contributions

V.D.: designed and executed the study, assisted with data analyses, and wrote the paper. J.M.N.: collaborated with the design and writing of the study. P.S.: analyzed the data and collaborated with the writing and editing of the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Veronica Darlow
    • 1
  • Jill M. Norvilitis
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pamela Schuetze
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologySUNY Buffalo StateBuffaloUSA

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