Senior Honors Projects, 2010-2019

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Department of Psychology


Monica Reis-Bergan

Kevin Apple

Claire Lyons


Self-determination theory encompasses three different elements, competence, autonomy and social belongingness (Deci & Ryan, 2000). Helicopter parenting is defined as extreme involvement in a child’s life to the point of making decisions for them while also being associated with high levels of parental support and high feelings of parental-child closeness (Padilla-Walker & Nelson, 2012). Research has shown that helicopter parenting has been associated with psychological and behavioral problems in young adults, (Odenweller, Booth-Butterfield, & Weber, 2014). The current study investigated the association between perceived helicopter parenting and self-determination theory components along with intrinsic motivation and academic and extracurricular engagement in college students. Helicopter parenting and self-determination variables were found to be inversely related, such that high perceived helicopter parenting correlated with low scores for self-determination variables. This study provides key insight into perceived helicopter parenting and the possible maladaptive associations for emerging adults and the responsibilities that come with adulthood.




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