Among my many private worries as a parent, I’ve wondered if I hover too much. New research on helicopter parents confirms it: I am one.
I have plenty of company. An estimated 40% to 60% of college parents qualify as helicopter parents, and they come from all socioeconomic groups, based on a thought-provoking study of 75 officials, professors and staff at 15 universities. The study, which is drawing attention on campuses, moves the helicopter-parent debate onto new ground by identifying types of parental hovercraft, ranging from benign to pathological.
There’s room to disagree on the boundaries of healthy parental involvement with college-age students, the focus of the research. Nevertheless, I found the typology a helpful lens for sizing up my parenting. If you’re wondering where you stand, here are a few of the most distinct types: