The influence of mothers on the academic expectations of young children: A longitudinal study of how gender differences arise

David P. Baker, Doris R. Entwisle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

How young children develop an academic self-image is not well understood, although parents and other influences exerted in the home must be important. This paper offers an approach to permit detection of differences in the processes by which mothers influence the development of young boys’ and girls’ academic self-images. It employs parallel estimates of a structural equation model for the two sexes. We estimate effects (1) of mothers’ appraisals of their children’s general ability relative to others in the school, and (2) of mothers’ specific expectations for their children’s performance in reading, arithmetic and conduct, on the children’s own academic expectations in those areas. By examining differences in parameters of structural equation models estimated separately for the two sexes, we can see whether there are processual differences in expectation formation for children of the two sexes. We provide an application of this approach to illustrative data from two schools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)670-694
Number of pages25
JournalSocial Forces
Volume65
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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