Study finds parents at fault for depression in college students

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-06-2009
Study finds parents at fault for depression in college students
6
Thu, 02-14-2013 - 3:04pm

A new study by Holly Schiffrin and colleagues from the University of Mary Washington finds that college students with overcontrolling parents, also known as helicopter parents, are more likely to be depressed. They discovered that helicopter parenting negatively affects students’ well-being by preventing them from feeling autonomous.

Helicopter parenting could lead to higher levels of depression and anxiety, according to the researchers. Children with overcontrolling parents may feel less able to manage life and its stressors. Researchers caution, however, that some parental involvement in children’s lives aids healthy development.

http://natmonitor.com/2013/02/13/helicopter-parenting-linked-to-depressi...

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2003

But sometimes the pressure for excellence is not from the parents, as I recently heard firsthand last nigh, from one on DD's old friends who is highly disappointed that she got a B.  A lot of kids have been getting A's all of their school years and then get to college and get a B or heaven forbid, a C.  Many of them don't know how to handle that, regardless of parental involvement.  Yes, many helicopter parents can be out of control and over the top, but in my helicoptering, I've learned to pick up on clues from DD that I am needed or I can back out.  On the other hand, I've gotta believe that at the other extreme, no parental involvement has got to be stressful and depressing too.

Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
It just seems to follow logic that if you have someone hovering to be sure that you never stumble and suddenly the safety net is gone, that a person would be depressed to find out that s/he may actually have flaws. I was upset when dd's school sent me an itinarary when it was time for the freshmen to go to orientation and register for classes, but it turned out that it was just to keep parents away from their students!!

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009

Yet another study to blame parents. Did this study do an exhaustive study to find causal effects or did they just surmise? Did they factor in the degree of control parents exercised? How much is too much? How much is too little?

Was this study based on a questionaire? If so, when was it administered and to whom?  Did they eliminate all other contributiing factors to depression? the environment? diet? genetics? the economy? Are they referring to clinical depression because feeling less able to handle life and its stressors is NOT necessarily depression. It could be immaturity.

Reporting in such unprecise terms on a serious issue does more harm than good.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-25-2006
When DS23 went to orientation before starting college in 2007, we parents were kept away from our students, too. I was upset to learn he had registered for classes without my having any input. My worries were all for naught; he finished in four yrs as planned. But had he taken longer because of poor choices in his class selection his freshman year, based on advice from the student "advisers" at orientation, I would have been really upset at the U. Of course, the U doesn't care--more money for them if students take >4 yrs to graduate.

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http://www.pnhp.org/news/2009/october/meet_the_new_health_.php

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQTBYQlQ7yM

Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003

I figured if my kid couldn't register for freshmen courses without me, then I failed at my job. I actually wrote the president of the college stating I thought it was horrible that they would send me an itinerary. She wrote back that it was to keep the parents away and answer questions parents may have about if your kid gets sick, that your homeowners insurance will cover losses in the dorm rooms, etc.... The only time my folks went on campus was to see me graduate. Dh was the same. We had no issues.

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-25-2006
If we'd had only DS29, I could have written a post just like yours. He was always a self-confident, extrovert whom we had few worries with. His younger brother, otoh, was a follower throughout his middle and high school years. I was afraid that he'd be easily swayed by some student adviser telling him he'd need some slack-off classes. They're both in grad school now, due to finish in 2014 and 2015. Now it's the OLDER one I worry about more. DS23 has matured a lot since his high school years, thank God! Our parents had little oversight when we were in college, too, but times have changed a lot since the 70s. So has tuition!

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http://www.pnhp.org/news/2009/october/meet_the_new_health_.php

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQTBYQlQ7yM