Growth mindset and its predictive validity—do migration background and academic validation matter?

  • David Corradi
  • Jonas Nicolaï
  • François Levrau


A wide range of mindset interventions has been designed to tackle the educational gap and improve the academic achievements of underperforming students. These interventions often target small student samples in experimental or homogeneous educational settings. This paper will explicitly emphasize the role of context in the relationship between growth mindset and academic achievement in order to optimize the potential impact of mindset interventions. Based on the Self-System of Motivational Development, we offer a framework which allows for investigating the mediating function of growth mindset between the contextual factors of “minority background” and “academic validation,” as well as students’ levels of academic adjustment and academic outcome. Our data, drawn from survey research (N = 1549) in a Belgian university, indicate both an inverse, negative effect of mindset on academic outcomes—with little impact of context on mindset—as well as positive effects of academic validation on academic outcome among minority students. These results suggest that academic outcome depends on more than whether students are located on the positive or negative side of the mindset spectrum.


Growth mindset Migration background Academic validation Self-system of Motivational Development Academic achievement At-risk students 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Corradi
    • 1
  • Jonas Nicolaï
    • 2
  • François Levrau
    • 3
  1. 1.Centre for Migration and Intercultural StudiesUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium
  2. 2.Department of University & SocietyUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium
  3. 3.Pieter Gillis CentreUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium

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