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Ambitious mothers-successful daughters: Mothers’ early expectations for children’s education and children’s earnings and sense of control in adult life

Flouri, Eirini and Hawkes, Denise (2008) Ambitious mothers-successful daughters: Mothers’ early expectations for children’s education and children’s earnings and sense of control in adult life. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 78 (3). pp. 411-433. ISSN 1476-9808

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Abstract

Background: Mothers’ expectations for their children’s educational attainment are related to children’s educational and occupational attainment. Studies have yet to establish, however, long term links between maternal expectations and offspring earnings, which are not always related to occupational attainment especially in women, or between maternal expectations and offspring sense of control and self-efficacy, which are pivotal factors in career choice and development. Aims: To explore the role of mothers’ expectations for their children’s educational attainment in children’s earnings attainment and sense of control later in life. Method: Data from sweeps of the 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70) were used. The study sample was those cohort members with complete information on all the variables of interest. The study sample (N=3,285) was more educated and less disadvantaged than the whole sample. If cohort members of this type are more likely to have a mother who has high expectations then our results are biased downwards, which suggests that we underestimate the effect of expectations on our two outcome variables. Results: Mothers’ expectations at age 10 were positively related to daughters’ sense of control at age 30 even after controlling for ethnicity, educational attainment, and concurrent partner, parent, and labor market participation status, as well as the following confounding variables (measured at ages 0-10): general ability and general ability squared, locus of control, emotional and behavioral problems and emotional and behavioral problems squared, socio-economic disadvantage, parental social class, parental family structure, and mother’s education, child-rearing attitudes and mental health. Mothers’ expectations had no effect in sons’ adult outcomes. Conclusions: Given that women are particularly at risk for poor psychological and economic outcomes in adulthood, and that this study likely underestimated the effect of expectations on these two outcomes, this is an important conclusion.

Item Type: Article
Controlled Keywords: earnings; expectations; , parenting; sense of control
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Psychology and Human Development
Depositing User: IOE Repository Editor (2)
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2010 10:07
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2013 12:25
URI: http://eprints.ioe.ac.uk/id/eprint/1381
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