Sign of the times
The immediacy of today's technology can also chip away at self-reliance, Hofer said. Hofer found that students often go straight to their parents in the midst of a crisis rather than figuring out solutions or handling the emotional fallout on their own.
Another problem dips into academic dishonesty: Hofer said one in five students reported having their parents edit their papers online, a practice that might violate the honor codes of many colleges and universities. While helping a child with a paper at the kitchen table in junior high or high school might be appropriate, sending a paper back and forth for editing can amount to the parent doing all the work, which means the student isn't learning to do it alone, Hofer said.