Graduate Program

Clinical Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Wesley D. Allan


Popular media often features stories about 'helicopter parenting' and asserts that this style is detrimental to youngsters (c.f., Fingerman, Cheng, Wesselmann, Zarit, Furstenberg, & Birditt, 2012; LeMoyne & Buchanan, 2011). However, few studies have examined the phenomenon empirically (Fingerman et al., 2012), particularly in a college population. The few existing studies of 'helicopter parenting' have evaluated different facets of this parenting style (e.g., intrusive parenting, inappropriate contact with school personnel), which makes comparing research results difficult. This paper discusses the literature on 'helicopter parenting' and discusses the initial steps in the development of a new comprehensive assessment of 'helicopter parenting' behaviors identified in the literature. In addition, the study examines correlates of 'helicopter parenting' in college students: worry, depressive symptoms, and academic self-efficacy. 'Helicopter parenting' was correlated positively with depression and worry symptoms but not with self-efficacy.