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

An Author Correction to this article was published on 22 July 2021

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Abstract

Objectives

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.

Methods

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.

Results

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.

Conclusions

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.

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Fig. 1

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Acknowledgements

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

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Correspondence to Holly H. Schiffrin.

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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

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Schiffrin, H.H., Yost, J.C., Power, V. et al. Examining the Relationship between Helicopter Parenting and Emerging Adults’ Mindsets Using the Consolidated Helicopter Parenting Scale. J Child Fam Stud 28, 1207–1219 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-019-01360-5

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Keywords

  • Helicopter parenting
  • Failure mindset
  • Intelligence mindset
  • Growth mindset
  • Fixed mindset