Expectations and Achievement

  • Faye Z. Belgrave
Part of the Advancing Responsible Adolescent Development book series (ARAD)


The above quote illustrates the trajectory this teen would use to reach her personal and professional future goals. Children begin to acquire a sense of their future during the period of early to mid adolescence. During this developmental period, they develop hopes, dreams, and aspirations for their future. Life-course expectations influence the goals that girls set for themselves and the actions they choose to reach these goals. If a girl expects to go to college after graduating from high school, her behavior will be directed toward getting good grades and delaying parenthood. If on the other hand, there are no college role models and/or expectations from others for her to attend college, then good grades and academic accomplishment may not be as important.

Life-course expectations are shaped by personal as well as contextual and environmental factors. Parents play an especially significant role in life-course expectations and academic achievement. Parental role modeling (mothers more so than fathers) impact their daughters’ life-course expectations with messages that emphasize the importance of finishing school, getting a good job, and delaying parenting. Sometimes parents provide models of what behavior not to emulate in cases where mothers have cut short their education and life goals because of early parenting.


Academic Achievement Ethnic Identity African American Male African American Student School Engagement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Hrabowski, F. Z., Maton, K. I., Greene, M. L., & Greif, G. (2002). Overcoming the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Young Women. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

Personalised recommendations