Are Helicopter Parents Creating a Generation of WUSI Employees?

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Title

Millennials: Trends, Characteristics and Perspectives,


This study examines the extent to which having a helicopter parent is associated with one's propensity to perceive one's supervisor as abusive, or WUSI-ness. The WUSI construct consists of three traits including waspishness, umbrageous sensitivity and insecurity. Our findings suggest that having a helicopter mother is significantly related to an individual's tendency to react with anger in response to supervisor behaviors that others might view as benign (Waspishness), as well as a tendency to anticipate negative interactions with their supervisor and experience high levels of anxiety when such interactions occur (Insecurity). Having a helicopter father was only associated with an individual's tendency to experience higher levels of insecurity. Mothers were rated higher in helicopter parenting than fathers and respondents were also more likely to prefer their mother's involvement than their father's. Recommendations for future research are discussed.

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