Do Helicopter Parents Produce Smarter Kids?

John Bergeson's picture


According to this NYT article, American parents have increased their "hand-on caregiving" by about 12 hours a week since the 1970s. A 2012 PISA academic test of 15-year-olds found that "intensive parenting style" was correlated with higher test scores. Interestingly, this reigned true even among teenagers whose parents had similar levels of education, noting that parenting style may affect intelligence more so than genetic intellect. Furthermore, a national study that followed thousands of American teenagers for years, found that offspring of "authoritative" parents, parents who emphasize problem-solving, were more likely to graduate from college and graduate school, compared with children of authoritarian parents, parents who emphasize obedience. This was true even when the study controlled for parents' education and income. However, where do you think helicopter parenting is hindering independence and child emotional growth? Do you think these children will eventually engage in deviant behavior when they have the opportunity to do so, such as binge drinking in college after being constantly monitored for so long? Do you think helicopter parenting can further perpetuate inequality for future generations as working class parents might have less time on their hands and thus not have the leisure time to hover over their child's progress?