Parental love and support do not eliminate the dangers of helicopter parenting, according to a new study. The findings are important, researchers say, because they debunk the view of some helicopter parents that they are simply showering their children with love, which must be a good thing. Researchers at Brigham Young University studied undergraduates at four universities (not including Brigham Young). Students were asked about measures of parental love and support (ability to talk and spend time together) and also about helicopter parenting (where parents make important decisions and solve problems for their children). Prior research had found negative impacts on college students' self-esteem and well-being associated with helicopter parenting. The new research found that while love and support lessened the negative impacts of helicopter parenting, they did not eliminate the impact.
“From our past work, we thought there might be something positive about helicopter parenting under certain conditions, but we're just not finding it,” said a statement from one of the study authors, Larry Nelson.
The study appears in the journal Emerging Adulthood.