- GoodTherapy.org Therapy Blog - http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog -

Poor Expectations Among Parents May Encourage Adolescent Misbehavior

There are numerous stereotypes [1] associated with teenagers. The idea that all or most teenagers engage in forbidden or risky behavior, including underage drinking and smoking, is prevalent throughout society, but this very prevalence may be adding to occurrences of mental health issues and related distress among teens. A study conducted at Wake Forest University [2] has recently found that those teenagers whose mothers expected them to take part in high-risk activities were in fact more likely to do so. The study also found that teens who expected poor performance from themselves acted consistently with the expectation a year later. The research highlights the idea of the self-fulfilling prophesy and may encourage more positive expectations among parents.