Study Finds ‘Helicopter Parenting’ Can Lead to Career Burnout When Children Grow Up

Inspiration to "loosen the grip" a little.

Poring Studio / Shutterstock
Poring Studio / Shutterstock

Here’s a lesson for parents — especially those too close to their children.

Those “overparenting” — or Helicopter parenting, where parents are overly focused on their children and therefore guilty of excessive parenting — might want to loosen their grip on their kids’ lives, as a new study from Florida State University found that overparenting can have a negative effect on children and can contribute to burnout once they enter the workforce.

The study, published in the Journal of Child and Family Studies, explored how helicopter parenting can hurt young adults, finding that parents who overparenting harm their children by providing fewer opportunities for children to develop and fineness emotional and behavioral skills.

Researchers surveyed more than 400 college students between ages 18 to 29 to learn more about how they were raised and how they felt about their time in school. Respondents were asked to rank how much they felt statements regarding parenting and their college career were true. With a specific focus on overparenting, researchers found that helicopter parenting, specifically when a father contributes, was more associated with burnout.

What does that lead to? According to one Florida State University professor, it creates a “helpless, hopeless and resentful” effort toward schooling.

“Burnout is a response to ongoing stress that is important because it saps the student’s energy, reduces their productivity and leaves them with a diminished sense of accomplishment,” said Professor Frank Fincham, an FSU Eminent Scholar and director of the FSU Family Institute in a statement. “They feel increasingly helpless, hopeless and resentful, exerting less effort on their studies, which leads to lower grades. In some cases, students end up dropping out of college.”

Hayley Love, the study’s author, told CNBC Make It that this type of burnout could reach beyond school.

“This research really highlights the salience of parenting even as children move out of the home,” Love said.

Originally published on Ladders.

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