Self-verification as a mediator of mothers' self-fulfilling effects on adolescents' educational attainment

Kyle C. Scherr, Stephanie Madon, Max Guyll, Jennifer Willard, Richard Spoth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)587-600
Number of pages14
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011


  • educational attainment
  • self-fulfilling prophecies
  • self-verification


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