What propels helicopter parents? Parents' motivation for over involvement in their children's higher education
Van Dyck, Arvelle
The purpose of this study was to examine the phenomenon of helicopter parenting and the motivation behind overinvolved parenting of college-aged children. The literature reviewed in this study includes factors that contribute to helicopter parenting in the higher education environment: Millennial characteristics, parental demographics, and technology. In addition, the privacy act, higher education rankings, and financial aid (i.e., tuition and enrolment management strategy), which contribute to the higher education environment, are discussed. Literature on why parents engage in helicopter parenting is limited. As such, this study helped to address this gap in research. Using a social constructivist approach, data were obtained using a qualitative, multi-instrument case study method. Five parents of female, undergraduate students at a Canadian university participated in the telephone interviews. This study found financial and emotional support were the foremost ways parents supported their children. Parents were motivated by their desire to offer guidance; need for connection and communication; and need to show and receive love. Parents who participated in parent programming offered by the university, regardless of the type of programming, found it to be beneficial. Future research is needed to study father-son dyads as well as explore the reciprocation of support, specifically emotional support, from students to parents.
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
SupervisorPrytula, Michelle P.
CommitteeBurgess, David; Newton, Paul; Squires, Vicki; Koole, Marguerite
Copyright DateOctober 2015
helicopter parents, overinvolved parents, higher education, support reciprocation