Presenters: Shireen Khan, Jennifer Dee, Poster Presentation
Research Title: Parental Influences on Mindsets, Motivation, and Persistence in Children with ADHD
Faculty Advisor: Susanne Jaeggi
Mentors: Masha Jones, Nina Ozbardakci, Francesca Trane
The present study examines how parental beliefs about the malleability of intelligence influence persistence and motivation in children with ADHD. Individuals with a fixed mindset view intelligence as an unchangeable, set quantity, while individuals with a growth mindset believe that intelligence can be developed with time, effort, and instruction. Children with ADHD tend to endorse a fixed mindset and exhibit a lack of persistence and motivation, which is thought to contribute to their characteristically low academic achievement. As parents are critical influencers in their children’s lives, it is important to understand parents’ role in the shaping of mindsets and related behaviors among children with ADHD. In the present study, children diagnosed with ADHD, ages 7–14 (n = 65), and their parents (n = 65) questionnaires. The children also worked on various tasks assessing persistence, including a spatial reasoning task and a trivia and math knowledge task. We hypothesized that children with ADHD whose parents endorse a growth mindset would be more likely to demonstrate greater task persistence, compared with those completed mindset whose parents promote a fixed mindset, and that this relationship could be partially explained by the child’s mindset. We found that parent mindset was positively associated with child persistence and that this relationship was partially mediated by child mindset; however, the results failed to reach significance. Future research should explore how parenting practices, such as how parents praise their children, could mediate the relationship between parents’ mindsets and children’s persistence.