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In a paper Teenage pregnancy and motherhood in England: do parents’ educational expectations matter? presented at Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) Ericka G. Rascon-Ramirez shares her findings that mothers who push and set high standards for their daughters end up with more successful children than those who don’t. Researchers found that children who were raised by parents who constantly nagged them about getting a college degree were less likely to become unemployed or turn into teenage mothers.
Setting high standards means adolescent girls are less likely to become pregnant and suffer the setbacks in life that go with being a teenage mum, they found.The study, from the University of Essex, involved gathering data from schoolgirls aged 13 to 14 from a database of 15,500 students. It showed that a parent’s high expectations could reduce their teenager’s chances of becoming pregnant by 4% compared to those with only “middling aspirations.”
“What our parents expected about our school choices was, very likely, a major determinant of our decision about conceiving a child or not during our teenage years,” added Rascon-Ramirez.
It also revealed that mothers appeared to be the “main parent” who nagged their children the most. The University of Essex study said the benefit of pushy parents was most marked among the least academic teenagers, who often have no friends or teachers willing to encourage them.
“In many cases we succeeded in doing what we believed was more convenient for us, even when this was against our parents’ will. But no matter how hard we tried to avoid our parents’ recommendations, it is likely that they ended up influencing, in a more subtle manner, choices that we had considered extremely personal,” said researcher Ericka Rascon-Ramirez.
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