Parent Intervention to Encourage Growth Mindset Development in Children
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Growth mindset refers to the belief that skills and abilities can be improved through effort and the use of appropriate learning strategies. Students that have developed a growth mindset, are predicted to perform better in academics, and to have higher psychological well-being, when compared to others. Research suggests that children’s academic mindsets are malleable, but we have limited knowledge on what parents can do to support their children in this area. In this paper I investigate whether parents can learn and are able to adapt opinions and response methods that in theory should encourage the development of growth mindsets in their children. I conduct an experiment where parents of children in elementary school are subjected to a parental growth mindset intervention; which consists of a growth mindset intervention, as well as guidance on how to encourage growth mindsets in their children. After the treatment, I investigate whether the intervention had an effect on four outcome measures: (1) level of growth mindset; (2) opinions on matters which would either promote or detriment growth mindsets in their children; (3) situational responses that would either promote or detriment growth mindsets in their children; and (4) time spent on supporting their children with homework. The results yield positive treatment effects on all measures, but none of them are significant. Additionally, the sample size is small and not representative. The results of this study must therefore be interpreted with caution. However, the positive treatment effects, indicate that parental growth mindset interventions might have the potential to become cost-effective and easily implementable interventions, that have a positive influence on children’s motivation and ability to learn. More research is needed to ascertain the effect and value of parental growth mindset interventions.
Master's thesis in Strategy and Management