Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS)


The purpose of this research is to assess parental involvement in children’s high school athletics and its impact on athletic directors, coaches and student-athletes. This thesis will answer three questions; (1) do Wisconsin high school coaches and athletic directors think that parents are too involved, or not involved enough in their children’s high school athletic ventures; (2) what type of problems do they think both “helicopter” and “absentee” parents pose for their child, coaches and administrators; and (3) do they feel the existence of “helicopter” parents is escalating.

A survey was conducted through the Strategic Research Institute at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wis. to find out how coaches and administrators in Wisconsin view “helicopter” and “absentee” parents. The research shows that coaches and athletic directors think “helicopter” parenting is on the rise and is considered more of a problem for athletic directors than coaches. However, the research also shows that if athletic directors and coaches had to choose between “helicopter” or “absentee” parents, they’d prefer to have parents who are overly involved in their program(s) rather than being absent.