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.
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
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