-An entity theory, according to which ability is largely static and immutable
-An incremental theory, according to which ability can be developed through practice and effort.
Using data from German parents and their fourth-grade children (n=723), the psychologists found that parents’ beliefs about the nature of ability influenced their children academic success in two ways.
First, because of the transmission of this fixed / growth mindset. Second, because of its translation into unhelpful learning-related behaviors.
For instance, the researchers found that a fixed approach tended to generate more conflict, as well as more controlling behaviors on the part of parents.
“Controlling behavior in connection with learning is characterized by parents utilizing pressure to steer children towards academic success… Parents holding an incremental theory seem less likely to use such controlling strategies in learning-related situations because [they] tend to emphasize mastery over outcomes…”
Altogether, parents’ beliefs about ability explained almost 40% of their children’s grades.
Source: Matthes and Stoeger (2018)