Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 28, Issue 5, pp 1207–1219 | Cite as

Examining the Relationship between Helicopter Parenting and Emerging Adults’ Mindsets Using the Consolidated Helicopter Parenting Scale

  • Holly H. SchiffrinEmail author
  • Jennaveve C. Yost
  • Victoria Power
  • Emily R. Saldanha
  • Erynn Sendrick
Original Paper



The purpose of this study was to develop a consolidated helicopter parenting scale (CHPS) from five existing measures of helicopter parenting and utilize the new measure to examine the relationship between helicopter parenting and intelligence mindset.


Participants were 275 emerging adults between 18–25 years of age who completed an online survey. First, we conducted an Exploratory Factor Analysis of five helicopter parenting measures to develop a scale that reliably measured participants’ reports of helicopter parenting by both their mothers and fathers. Then, we utilized the new measure to examine whether helicopter parenting mediated the relationship between emerging adults’ report of their parents’ failure mindsets and their own intelligence mindsets.


The 10 items retained in the factor analysis primarily captured emerging adults’ perception that their parents’ involvement was inappropriate rather than delineating objective behaviors in which their parents engaged. Both mothers and fathers were more likely to engage in helicopter parenting when emerging adults reported their parents had a failure mindset. However, only fathers’ helicopter parenting mediated the relationship between parents’ failure mindsets and their children’s intelligence mindsets.


When parents were viewed as having a failure-is-debilitating mindset, emerging adults also reported that fathers were more likely to participate in helicopter parenting behaviors, which was associated with fixed mindsets in emerging adults. People with fixed mindsets have been found to have decreased motivation (e.g., avoiding challenges and less perseverance) and academic achievement in prior research.


Helicopter parenting Failure mindset Intelligence mindset Growth mindset Fixed mindset 



This research was conducted in compliance with the ethical standards of the American Psychological Association.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This research was approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the university where it was conducted, which has Federal-wide Assurance from the Office of Human Research Protection (OHRP). Thus, all procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. No identifying information was obtained during data collection.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychological ScienceUniversity of Mary WashingtonFredericksburgUSA

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