Helicopter Parents and Landing Pad Kids: Intense Parental Support of Grown Children

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.