Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology


Educational Psychology and Methodology

Content Description

1 online resource (vi, 79 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Joan Newman

Committee Members

David Y Dai, Kimberly F Colvin


College students, Education, Higher, Self-efficacy, Families, Parent and child

Subject Categories



With advances in communication technology, reports of frequent parental contact among college students are on the rise. Anecdotal sources label this type of involved parenting as “helicopter” parenting, creating an image of parents who constantly “hover” over their children ready to solve all their problems and to monitor them. This study was designed to measure parental involvement, which includes positive as well as negative parental behaviors. The goals of the present study were: 1) to examine the specific parental involvement that college students experience, 2) explore students’ perceptions of such parenting, and 3) to investigate the relationship between parental involvement and college students’ self-efficacy. Results from self-report survey data from 154 undergraduates indicated that students and their parents communicated frequently and the students were happy with parental involvement. Parental involvement in undergraduates’ lives was mainly characterized by warmth, and support. Parental interventions, micromanagement, and control were virtually absent in the reports. Among students who reported higher parental involvement, a greater number perceived their parents to be caring, while fewer participants perceived their parents as controlling. Finally, parental involvement did not significantly predict college self-efficacy of participants. This study contributed to the limited existing research on parental involvement during college by proposing that such involvement could have potentially positive aspects for the students. Most of the participants solicit parental support, especially during stressful times, and consider parents to be a strong support system. Parental communication does not appear to be thrust upon students, but instead facilitates a connection between parents and children.

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