The contribution that parental educational expectations for youth and youth’s perceptions of academic competence can have on youth’s own educational expectations across early to late adolescence is not well-understood. In a sample of Mexican-origin families, the current study examined longitudinal (from early to late adolescence) associations among mothers, fathers, and youth’s educational expectations, how youth’s educational expectations were associated with perceived academic competence, and the potential mediating role of youth’s perceived academic competence. Data from two-parent families which included one focal child (7th grade: N= 469; youth: Mage = 12.31, 50% female) at three waves (7th, 9th, and 11th grade) were utilized. Structural equation modeling and multi-group analysis were implemented to assess the study’s goals. Results revealed significant associations among parents’ 7th grade educational expectations and youth’s 9th and 11th grade educational expectations. The findings also revealed three significant associations among youth’s perceived academic competence and educational expectations between 7th and 11th grade. Specifically, youth’s 7th grade perceived academic competence predicted youth’s 9th grade educational expectations, youth’s 7th grade educational expectations predicted youth’s 9th grade perceived academic competence, and youth’s 9th grade perceived academic competence predicted youth’s 11th grade educational expectations. Multigroup analysis did not reveal gender differences for the associations tested. The findings highlight the long-term significance of parents’ educational expectations on youth’s educational expectations and underscore youth’s academic competence, an individual level factor, as critical to consider for understanding educational expectations across adolescence for Mexican-origin youth.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)