To all those who worried that today's "helicopter parents" would produce a generation of soft scaredy-cats incapable of doing things for themselves: you're totally right! At least according to one study.
According to Rachael Rettner of LiveScience, researchers led by psychologist Neil Montgomery of Keene State College in New Hampshire surveyed 300 college freshmen to determine their personality traits and relationships with their parents. Based on their responses to statements like, "My parents have contacted a school official on my behalf to solve problems for me," and "If two days go by without contact my parents would contact me," Montgomery's team determined that 10% of their sample had helicopter parents — 13% of the female students but just 5% of the males. And those students who were "helicoptered" (yes, apparently it's a verb now) were more dependent and anxious, as well as "less open to new ideas and actions." That is, kids whose parents called the dean on their behalf weren't just narcissistic and entitled, as the conventional wisdom goes — they were, it seems, afraid of taking risks.