Department of Psychological Sciences, Purdue University, 703 3rd Street, Lafayette, IN 47907.
Helicopter Parents and Landing Pad Kids: Intense Parental Support of Grown Children
Article first published online: 13 JUL 2012
Copyright © National Council on Family Relations, 2012
Journal of Marriage and Family
Volume 74, Issue 4, pages 880–896, August 2012
How to Cite
Fingerman, K. L., Cheng, Y.-P., Wesselmann, E. D., Zarit, S., Furstenberg, F. and Birditt, K. S. (2012), Helicopter Parents and Landing Pad Kids: Intense Parental Support of Grown Children. Journal of Marriage and Family, 74: 880–896. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2012.00987.x
Department of Human Development and Family Studies, The Pennsylvania State University, 211-H Henderson South Building, University Park, PA 16802.
Department of Sociology, University of Pennsylvania, 3718 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, 426 Thompson Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104.
- Issue published online: 13 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 13 JUL 2012
- family relations;
- intergenerational relationships;
- social support;
- young adulthood
Popular media describe adverse effects of helicopter parents who provide intense support to grown children, but few studies have examined implications of such intense support. Grown children (N = 592, M age = 23.82 years, 53% female, 35% members of racial/ethnic minority groups) and their parents (N = 399, M age = 50.67 years, 52% female; 34% members of racial/ethnic minority groups) reported on the support they exchanged with one another. Intense support involved parents' providing several types of support (e.g., financial, advice, emotional) many times a week. Parents and grown children who engaged in such frequent support viewed it as nonnormative (i.e., too much support), but grown children who received intense support reported better psychological adjustment and life satisfaction than grown children who did not receive intense support. Parents who perceived their grown children as needing too much support reported poorer life satisfaction. The discussion focuses on generational differences in the implications of intense parental involvement during young adulthood.