This four-wave study examined longitudinal associations between maternal helicopter parenting and college students’ educational identity processes over 1 year, as well as the moderating effects of mothers’ perceived environmental threats (i.e., uncertainty and competition). Participants were 349 first-year university students (39.8% male, M
age = 18.20) and their mothers (M
age = 49.10) in Hong Kong. Latent class growth analysis identified two subgroups based on levels of mothers’ threat perceptions (i.e., lower vs. higher). Multi-group random-intercept cross-lagged models found that, at the within-person level, students’ reconsideration of educational commitments positively predicted helicopter parenting only for mothers with higher threat perceptions. These findings mainly support youth-driven effects on overbearing parenting behaviors. Mothers’ threat perceptions might exacerbate these excessive responses to youth’s academic turbulence.