Keeping a positive state of mind while pregnant has a lot of benefits for a mom-to-be, but apparently, it will also help a child and their future academic success, too. There’s a new study that suggests the more positive a mom is while pregnant, the better her child will do in school later in life, too, especially when it comes to certain crucial subjects.
Researchers from the University of Bristol studied what is known as a “locus of control” in pregnant women. They found that moms who thought positively throughout their pregnancies actually helped set up their children for future classroom achievement, especially in certain areas like math and science.
The locus of control is described in personality psychology as a way in which people have control over the outcomes of events later in their lives. In this case, pregnant women not only had a locus of control over their own lives but the babies that were in their wombs, too. In most cases, people follow their internal locus of control believe that they can pave the way for their own success. In comparison, people with an external locus of success believe that external forces determine their outcomes.
The researchers used data from children who went to school in the mid-1990s. Along with the National Institutes of Health, the team of researchers followed the lives of pregnant women and documented the academic data of their children to see how they performed in math and science from the time they were 8 until they were 16 years old.
Professor Jean Golding OBE, head researcher of the study, claims that women who are in control of their lives end up raising smarter children. The results of the research suggest that the mothers’ locus of control did play a role in the early childhood of their children. There was a strong association with their positive thinking and their children’s academic achievements.
She says, “If our findings that mothers’ attitudes and behaviors can have an effect on their child’s academic abilities can be replicated it would suggest that more efforts should be made to increase the opportunities for mothers to feel that their behaviors will have a positive outcome for themselves and their children.”
So, does this mean that simply believing that your child will be a Straight A student will help them be a Straight A student by the time they reach 5th grade? Of course, there are many other factors that determine how well a child will do in school. But keeping a positive attitude beyond the three trimesters certainly helps, too.