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Self-Verification as a Mediator of Mothers’ Self-Fulfilling Effects on Adolescents' Educational Attainment
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
  • Kyle C. Scherr, Iowa State University
  • Stephanie Madon, Iowa State University
  • Max Guyll, Iowa State University
  • Jennifer Willard, Kennesaw State University
  • Richard Spoth, Iowa State University
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This research examined whether self-verification acts as a general mediational process of self-fulfilling prophecies. The authors tested this hypothesis by examining whether self-verification processes mediated self-fulfilling prophecy effects within a different context and with a different belief and a different outcome than has been used in prior research. Results of longitudinal data obtained from mothers and their adolescents (N = 332) indicated that mothers’ beliefs about their adolescents’ educational outcomes had a significant indirect effect on adolescents’ academic attainment through adolescents’ educational aspirations. This effect, observed over a 6-year span, provided evidence that mothers’ self-fulfilling effects occurred, in part, because mothers’ false beliefs influenced their adolescents’ own educational aspirations, which adolescents then self-verified through their educational attainment. The theoretical and applied implications of these findings are discussed.
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Scherr, K. C., Madon, S., Guyll, M., Willard, J., & Spoth, R. (2011). Self-verification as a mediator of mothers’ self-fulfilling effects on adolescents’ educational attainment. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37(5), 587-600. doi:10.1177/0146167211399777