14 SES 06 B, School-related Transitions: Contributions from Turkey, Ireland and Czechy
The popular media discourse regarding the existence, antecedents, consequences, and prevalence of over parenting, or is often referred to as helicopter parenting, has long been acknowledged and received considerable attention as a phenomena. Google search engine generates 288.000 results regarding over parenting or helicopter parenting in Turkey. Despite extensive anecdotal evidence and speculations about helicopter parents, the scientific study of the phenomenon is quite scarce. Over parenting, as conceptualized by Segrin, Woszidlo, Givertz, Bauer, & Taylor-Murphy (2012), involves the employment of developmentally inappropriate parenting practices that more than an adolescent or an emerging adult actually needs for. These practices are enacted by excessive advice giving, problem solving on behalf of the child, preoccupation with the current and future success of the child, provision of tangible assistance, feeling of responsibility for the child (combined with risk aversion and anxiety), and parental over involvement in the child’s emotional well-being to the point of enmeshment. Although parents practice over parenting seemingly in the service of the child’s welfare and to ensure positive outcomes, over part of it may not be beneficial for and counterintuitive demeanors in adolescents and emerging adults (Segrin, Givertz, Swaitkowski, & Montgomery, 2015).
Studies from USA have mostly focused on the impact of over parenting for emerging adults. One significant gap in the line of research is that majority of studies on over parenting or helicopter parentings were conducted in Western Societies, particularly in the United States (Kwon, Yoo, & Bingham, 2016). Over and above, growing literature has demonstrated that over parenting produces negative outcomes for emerging adults. However, a few study examined the applicability of over parenting behaviors in Turkish context. Indeed, the concept of over parenting with emerging adults merits exploration in the sense that most university students still depend on their parents in many aspects of their life like financial support and sheltering. It can be assumed that parents play a significant role in the lives of emerging adults. Concurrently, emerging adults are assumed to explore new opportunities in their academic and social life, which necessitated taking new responsibilities encapsulated with autonomous behaviors (Arnett, 2000). This in-between developmentally challenging situation may create extra difficulties for college students having parents displaying helicopter parenting behaviors. Over and above, helicopter parenting practices may undermine the healthy enactment of developmentally appropriate exploration behaviors in emerging adults.
Moreover, helicopter parenting as a recently emerging parenting practice in both global and local contexts (Leung and Shek, 2018), there is a need to have an understanding and applicability of the concept across cultures (Jung et al., 2019). Because parenting is a culturally-constructed practice, we did not want to adapt an existing instrument to Turkish culture; rather we chose to develop an original scale by considering Turkish context of parenting. Sex-role theory (Hosley and Montemayor, 1997) claims that women are more prone to expressiveness than men, which might cause mothers to be engaged more in helicopter parenting practices. Empirically, it was also found that mothers are more overly involved in their adult child’s life (Hunt, 2008; Somers and Settle, 2010). In this context and along with the aim of the study, we attempted to capture the extent to which a college student feels her or his mother is overly parenting by developing a measure on over parenting. In the light of the literature on the concept of helicopter parenting, we hypothesized to generate four factors named excessive responsiveness, excessive problem solving, excessive control, and autonomy limiting. For concurrent validity, we expected that helicopter parenting would be negatively associated with life satisfaction of university students.
The sample consisted of 300 undergraduate and graduate students from different major programs of a foundation and a state university in Ankara. Of 300 participants, 187 (62.5 %) were female, 112 (37.5 %) were male, and 1 of the participants did not specifiy gender information. The ages of the participants were changed between 18 and 30 (M= 20.89, SD= 2,25). Forty three of the students reported that they live in a dormitory (14.3 %), 24 of them in home and alone (8.1 %), 203 of them with their families (68.6 %), 5 of them in other options like with relatives, and 4 students did not give any information on this part. Regarding the educational level of the mothers, 36% of them (12 %) were graduated from primary school, 19 (6.3%) from secondary school, 95 of them (31.7 %) from high school), 126 of them (42 %) from university, 12 of them (4 %) had a master’s degree, and 8 of them (1.3 %) had a Ph.D. Convenience sampling was used to select the participants of the study. The questionnaires were delivered in class to the volunteered students, and it took nearly 15 minutes for them to complete them. Demographic questionnaire form, Satisfaction with Life Scale (Diener et al, 1985), and the Helicopter Parenting Scale (developed by the researchers) were administered. Initially, 42 items were generated based on the operationalization of helicopter parenting construct and relevant item examples from scales which are designed to measure similar construct in the literature. Four dimensions were proposed based on the conceptualization of helicopter parenting as excessive responsiveness, excessive problem solving, excessive control, and autonomy limiting. After two expert opinions and one cognitive interview with a respondent, 23 items on a six-point Likert-type scale, with 1 indicating “I totally disagree” and 6 “I totally disagree” were included in the last version of the helicopter parenting scale before administration. Six point scale was decided to obtain a middle point and to grasp as much variance as or as much accurate scores as possible in perceived helicopter parenting level of the participants from their mothers. The HPS includes items such as “My mother does not allow me to learn from my mistakes”, “My mother frequently gives advices in many aspects of my life”, “My mother insists on meeting with all of my friends”, and “My mother contacts with my professors when I get low grades”.
Exploratory factor analysis was performed to explore the factor structure of the HPS by using SPSS 25. Before the main analysis, assumptions that are necessary to be met to conduct EFA were also checked and ensured via SPSS version 25.0 (2017). Due to the violation of multivariate normality and the existence of correlation coefficients between factors more than .32 in factor correlation matrix, exploratory factor analysis was performed by using principal axis factoring with direct oblimin rotation to reveal the factor structure of the Helicopter Parenting Scale. Results of both indicators revealed a four-factor structure, explaining 55.82% of the total variance on Helicopter Parenting after removing the item 6 which was failed to be loaded on any of the factors. Eigenvalues were changed between 1.14 and 7.42. The factor structure was clearly interpretable and emerged as excessive responsiveness (item 1, 2, 3), excessive problem solving (item 4, 9, 11, 16), excessive control (8, 10, 13, 15, 18, 20), and autonomy limiting (item 5, 6, 7, 14, 17, 19, 21, 22). Factor loading coefficients were changed between .36 and .73. However, in item 6, all the factor loading coefficients were below .32, so this item was dropped. All of the correlation coefficients among factors were significant at p< .001 level, and they changed between .19 and .64. Reliability of the scores pertaining to each factor was computed via Cronbach alpha. Coefficients were changed between .65 and .85 for the four subscales of the helicopter parenting scale. No significant relationship was found between perceived helicopter parenting scores and life satisfaction scores of the participants (r= -.04, p> .05), but a negative relationship between autonomy limiting (r= -.17, p< .05), and a positive one between excessive responsiveness (r= .15, p< .05) and life satisfaction. CFA results will be presented later.
Arnett, J. J. (2000). Emerging adulthood: A theory of development from the late teens through the twenties. American Psychologist, 55, 469–471. https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.55.5.469. Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71–75. Hosley, C. A., & Montemayor, R. (1997). Fathers and adolescents. In M. E. Lamb (Ed.), The role of the father in child development (p. 162–178). John Wiley & Sons Inc. Hunt, J. (2008). Make room for daddy...and mommy: Helicopter parents are here! The Journal of Academic Administration in Higher Education, 4, 9–11. Jung, E., Hwang, W., Kim, S., Sin, H., Zhao, Z., Zhang, Y., & Hanseul, P. J. (2019). Helicopter parenting, autonomy support, and student well-being in the United States and South Korea. Journal of Child and Family Studies, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-019-01601-7 Kwon, K. A., Yoo, G., & Bingham, G. E. (2016). Helicopter parenting in emerging adulthood: Support or barrier for Korean college students’ psychological adjustment. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 25, 136-145. Leung, J. T. Y., & Shek, D. T. L. (2018). Validation of the perceived Chinese overparenting scale in emerging adults in Hong Kong. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 27, 103–117. https://doi. org/10.1007/s10826-017-0880-8. Segrin, C., Woszidlo, A., Givertz, M., Bauer, A, & Taylor-Murphy, M. (2012). The association between overparenting, parent-child communication, and entitlement and adaptive traits in adult children. Family Relations, 61, 237-252. Segrin, C., Givertz, M., Swaitkowski, P., Montgomery, N. (2015). Overparenting is associated with child problems and a critical family environment. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 24, 470-479. Somers, P., & Settle, J. (2010). The helicopter parent: Research toward a typology. College and University: The Journal of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars, 86, 18–27.
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