Good news for helicopter parents: Neuroticism has its benefits - for parenting pets, anyways.
"[A]nxious attachment may lead to the owner being more attentive and more sensitive to changes in his or her pet's behavior," wrote psychologists and pet experts Mikel Delgado and Gretchen Reevy in a recent study published in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science.
Parents who are too anxious may cause problems for human kids who need to develop into self-sustaining individuals. But pets, the Lost Boys of the animal kingdom, don't have to grow up - "they remain dependent on their person for life," Delgado, a Ph.D. student at the University of California, Berkeley, told The Dodo in an email.
The researchers surveyed more than 1,000 pet owners, dividing them into groups who considered themselves "Cat People," "Dog People" or "Both." (A tiny sliver, about 3 percent, declared themselves apart from the dog and cat tribes.)