RU OK? Determining the Effects of Parenting through Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in First Year University
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In recent academic discourse and pop culture, the “helicopter parent” has created some controversy. The majority of the discourse regarding this type of childrearing argues that these parenting techniques may interfere with the development of independence and autonomy of the child (Hoffman, 2010; Padilla-Walker & Nelson, 2012; Ringheim 2014). Some connect characteristics of helicopter parenting with the development of information and communication technologies, or ICTs, which allows for frequent contact and monitoring between parent and child, and which connects well to the sociological concept of the “risk society” (Beck, 1992; Giddens, 1999; Lee, Macvarish & Bristow, 2010; Ledbetter, Heiss, Sibal, Lev, Battle--‐Fisher & Shubert, 2010; Nakayama, 2011). Much of the literature about helicopter parenting is focused on young children, and there is a great lack of research regarding helicopter parenting in the university setting (Day & Padilla-Walker, 2009; Gar & Hudson, 2008). Exploring the implications of this parenting in university students is critical as the young adults are expected to develop autonomy, to enter the workforce and become functioning members of society. This research employs a quantitative approach, and found that first year university students who have higher ratings of parental control have greater chances of also rating low self-perceived independence. Arguably, this research is significant because such understandings can lead to policy change in the university setting, as well as generally helping to understand parenting techniques in the post-modern age.