Parental beliefs about the fixedness of ability

Published on Nov 1, 2015in Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology
· DOI :10.1016/j.appdev.2015.08.002
Katherine Muenks8
Estimated H-index: 8
(UMD: University of Maryland, College Park),
David B. Miele10
Estimated H-index: 10
(BC: Boston College)
+ 2 AuthorsMeredith L. Rowe28
Estimated H-index: 28
(UMD: University of Maryland, College Park)
Abstract The present studies examined whether parents' beliefs about the fixedness of ability predict their self-reported interactions with their children. Parents' fixedness beliefs were measured at two levels of specificity: their general beliefs about intelligence and their beliefs about their children's math and verbal abilities. Study 1, conducted with an online sample of 300 parents, showed that the more parents believed that abilities were fixed, the more likely they were to endorse controlling and performance-oriented behaviors and the less likely they were to endorse autonomy-supportive and mastery-oriented behaviors. Study 2, conducted with 86 parents from a university database, partially replicated the results of Study 1 and also showed that parents' beliefs predicted the self-reported frequency with which they engaged in math- and reading-related activities with their children at home. Specifically, the more parents believed that abilities were fixed, the less frequently they reported engaging in math- and reading-related activities.
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