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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

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 0007-0998 (Print), 2044-8279 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1348/000709907X251280)

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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, the 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 the age of 10 were positively related to daughters' sense of control at the age of 30 even after controlling for ethnicity, educational attainment, and concurrent partner, parent, and labour market participation status, as well as the following confounding variables (measured at the ages of 0–10): general ability and general ability squared, locus of control, emotional and behavioural problems and emotional and behavioural problems squared, socio-economic disadvantage, parental social class, parental family structure, and mothers' education, child-rearing attitudes, and mental health. Mothers' expectations had no effect on 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
Additional Information: [1] First published in print: September 2008. [2] Published online: 24 December 2010. [3] Published as: British Journal of Educational Psychology, (2008), Vol. 78, (3), pp. 411–433. [4] The British Journal of Educational Psychology is published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. on behalf of The British Psychological Society.
Uncontrolled Keywords: mothers, daughters, expectations, educational attainment, earnings
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Greenwich Political Economy Research Centre (GPERC)
Faculty of Business > Department of International Business & Economics
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2016 13:52
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/2415

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