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Mothers expectations predict daughters self-confidence

Mothers who expect that their daughters will do well tend to have daughters who do well. The findings show that the impact of maternal expectations on girls? confidence can last beyond school and influence the occupational attainment of females: woman were more likely to feel a sense of control over their lives and earn more money at work if their mother had expected a lot of them.

The study, carried out by researchers at the Institute of Education in London, used data from a British cohort study which tracked 1,520 men and 1,765 women from 1970 onwards.  From this data the researchers asked mothers, when their child was aged 10, whether the child would stay in school until they were 16, 17 or 18.  They found that the higher the expectations that the mother had of her child the more likely that the child would stay in school for longer, earn more money at 26 and feel a sense of control over their lives at age 30. According to researchers these results were significant over and above other important variables such as family backgrounds or general ability.

The findings do not mean that parents should be pushy, overly ambitious with their children or focus on material attainment, but rather it highlights that it is important for parents to hold high expectations about what young people are capable of and that their child will get there in the end ? even if in some cases they seem to be struggling right now.  To access the paper click here.

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