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Exploring the Consequences of Helicopter Parenting on Career Identity and Adaptability in Emerging Adulthood

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Title: Exploring the Consequences of Helicopter Parenting on Career Identity and Adaptability in Emerging Adulthood
Author: LeBlanc, Joshua
Department: Department of Management
Program: Management
Advisor: Lyons, Sean
Abstract: The contemporary career context continues to be shaped by turbulence attributable to such factors as advancements in technology and communications, organizational downsizing and restructuring. As a result, the labor market has become increasingly uncertain, competitive and fragmented, requiring career entrants to possess higher levels of effort, self-knowledge and confidence than in the past. For some individuals in their late-teens to late-twenties, skills are markedly more difficult to achieve due to the presence of one or more parental figures applying developmentally inappropriate tactics. This phenomenon, branded colloquially as helicopter parenting, has raised concerns about parental coddling and the lack of independence and resilience it engenders in emerging adults. Unfortunately, there is little empirical evidence documenting its pervasiveness, antecedents or consequences. This study provides the first systematic examination of the impact of helicopter parenting on the formation and development of career meta-competencies (i.e., vocational identity and career adaptability) in contemporary emerging adults (ages 18-25). Using structural equation modeling with maximum likelihood estimation, results suggest deleterious effects of helicopter parenting on career adaptability, career self-doubt and in-depth exploration. Cluster analysis and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) further explore the association between helicopter parenting and vocational identity status. Results indicate that the emerging adults in this study comprise varying levels of identity status progress and even after controlling for the influence of socio-demographic factors, those most affected by helicopter parenting are in searching moratorium. Furthermore, findings illustrate that helicopter parenting does not appear to affect all groups of emerging adults equally. Implications of study findings towards research and practice are discussed.
Date: 2018-09
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International