Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling & Counseling Psychology

Committee Chair

Amy E Root

Committee Co-Chair

Melissa Sherfinski

Committee Member

Barbara Warash


Overprotective parenting, or "helicopter parenting" as it is known in the media, is characterized by high levels of behavioral and psychological control, and has been found by previous empirical studies to be linked to several maladaptive child outcomes (Wood, McLeod, Sigman, Hwang, & Chu, 2003). These outcomes include increased levels of anxiety, depression (Bayer, Sanson, & Hemphill, 2006; LeMoyne & Buchanan, 2011; Schiffrin, Liss, Miles-McLean, Geary, & Erchull 2013), and shyness (Bayer, et al., 2006; Rubin, Coplan, & Bowker, 2009) as well as decreased academic outcomes (Bernstein & Triger, 2010; Padilla-Walker & Nelson, 2012). However, much of the research regarding parental overprotection and academic outcomes has focused on older children (Padilla-Walker & Nelson, 2012; Cutrona, Cole, Colangelo, Assouline, & Russell, 1994). For this reason, the current study investigated the effects of parental overprotection on preschool aged children's academic self-esteem. The current study also investigated teacher-child relationships. Specifically, the effects of teacher closeness on children's academic self-esteem were examined. Previous empirical studies have found that positive teacher-child relationships have positive academic outcomes (Rudasill & Rimm-Kaufman, 2009; Birch & Ladd, 1997). The interaction between parental overprotection and teacher closeness was also examined in relation to children's academic self-esteem. This was done in order to investigate whether close teacher-child relationships moderate the effects of overprotective parenting on academic outcomes. The results revealed that parental overprotection was negatively associated with children's academic self-esteem. Teacher closeness was positively associated with children's academic self-esteem. Finally, no significant relationship between the interaction of parental overprotection and teacher closeness and children's academic self-esteem was found.