Teenage motherhood, mother-only households, and teacher expectations
In two studies, the authors examined teachers’ academic expectations for students who differed by (a) racial group (Anglo-American vs. African American), (b) gender, (c) SES, (d) parental structure (2-parent vs. mother-only families), and (e) whether or not female students were teenage mothers. SES and teenage motherhood proved the strongest predictors of expectations. For girls, having a child resulted in lower expectations for high school grades, likelihood of finishing high school, and going on to college. The negative effect of teenage motherhood increased as the predicted event became more distant in the future. Students coming from middle-class families were expected to be more academically successful than were students coming from lower class homes. Higher expectations were reported for students from middle-class families where only the father worked outside the home than for students from middle-class families where both parents worked outside the home. Among boys, these differences were more pronounced for African American than for Anglo-American students. Other negative effects on specific expectations were associated with coming from mother-only families, being African American, and being male. Results are discussed in relation to past research on racial group and gender. © 1995 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
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