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Helicopter Parenting Leads To Risk-Averse & Dependent Kids, Study Suggests

Parents who try to protect their children from the pitfalls of life may have the best of intentions, but a recent study suggests incessantly hovering over your kids results in risk-averse and dependent young adults.

Researchers at Keene State University in New Hampshire surveyed about 300 freshmen to determine if they’d been raised by so-called “helicopter parents”.

The study focused on first-year college students because they were entering into a period in which their parents had less control over their lives. Students were given a questionnaire that asked them whether their parents had contacted school officials on their behalf, how involved their parents were during their move to school and how often their parents contact them.

The results of the study were presented Saturday at a meeting of the Association of Psychological Science in Boston.

Of the young people surveyed, approximately 10 per cent had so-called helicopter parents – of that group, 13 per cent were girls and five per cent were boys.

Lead researcher Neil Montgomery also noted it was mothers that tend to be overly-protective.

While Montgomery said these results are preliminary they suggest an association between over-parenting and extended adolescence.

Researchers found the children of helicopter parents tend to be self-conscious, anxious, vulnerable and not open to change.