Exploring the Moderating Effects of Helicopter Parenting and Drinking Motives on Moral Judgment and Alcohol Use Experiences Among College Students

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University of Alabama Libraries

Helicopter parenting (HP) is an emerging parenting style that has presented new challenges for higher education professionals in their efforts to guide college students in their development, such as moral development and growth. As a result, this dissertation study sought to investigate how such factors as maternal and paternal HP, moral judgment and reasoning (MJR), and drinking motives (DM) and how they relate to alcohol use experiences (AUE) among college students. Using a final sample of 260 college students, this study examined (1) the relationship among HP, MJR, and AUE and if maternal and/or paternal HP moderated the relationship between MJR and AUE; and (2) the relationship among the four DMs, MJR, and AUE and whether any of the four DMs moderated the relationship between MJR and AUE. To address these aims, hierarchical multiple regression (HMR) analyses were performed. Additionally, confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) were conducted to verify the factor structure of the HP measure used in this study. Results of the first set of HMR analyses revealed no significant relationship between either type of HP and MJR scores; similar results were found between MJR and AUE. However, these results did reveal a significant, albeit moderately weak, association between both types of HP and AUE. Similarly, the second set of HMR analyses showed that MJR was not significantly related to any of the drinking motives nor to AUE; however, all four drinking motives were significantly related to AUE. CFA analyses revealed that the indices of model fit for the one-factor structure tested generally met the acceptable levels for good model fit for the data. Implications, conclusions, and directions for future research are discussed.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
alcohol use experiences, college student development, drinking motives, Emerging adulthood, helicopter parenting, moral judgment