Helicopter parenting among parents of young adults has risen in the last few decades, especially in middle-class families, and is identified as a risk factor for offspring’s maladaptive adjustment. Using actor–partner interdependence modeling, this study investigated why mothers and fathers use helicopter parenting. More specifically, the study investigated how mothers’ and fathers’ characteristics (prevention focus, promotion focus, interpersonal regret, and self-regret) work together to predict their helicopter parenting. Questionnaires were collected from 96 families (mother, father, and young adults). The results revealed that higher levels of maternal and paternal prevention focus were related to higher levels helicopter parenting by mothers and fathers, respectively. In addition, higher levels of paternal interpersonal regret were associated with lower levels of helicopter parenting by fathers. Maternal prevention focus, promotion focus, and interpersonal regret were (indirectly) associated with paternal helicopter parenting. The results indicate that parental prevention and promotion focus may play a role in the etiology of helicopter parenting and may therefore be taken into account when addressing such parenting behavior. Further research is needed to deepen our understanding of the processes that shape the tendency to helicopter parent.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2017.
- Actor–partner interdependence
- helicopter parenting
- interpersonal and self-regret
- mothers and fathers
- prevention and promotion
- young adults
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science