SAGE Journal Articles
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Madon, S., Guyll, M., Spoth, R., & Willard, J. (2004). Self-fulfilling prophecies: The synergistic accumulation of parents’ beliefs on children’s drinking behavior. Psychological Science, 15, 837-845.
This research examined whether mothers' and fathers' beliefs about their children's alcohol use had cumulative self-fulfilling effects on their children's future drinking behavior. Analyses of longitudinal data acquired from 115 seventh-grade children and their mothers and fathers were consistent with synergistic accumulation effects for negative beliefs: Parents' beliefs predicted the greatest degree of confirmatory behavior from children when both mothers and fathers overestimated their children's alcohol use. Results did not support synergistic accumulation effects for positive beliefs: Children's predicted future alcohol use was similar regardless of whether one parent or both underestimated their child's alcohol use. These findings suggest that the generally small self-fulfilling effects reported in the literature may underestimate the power of negative self-fulfilling prophecies to harm targets because studies have not taken into consideration the possibility that negative self-fulfilling prophecies may be more likely than positive ones to accumulate across multiple perceivers.
This study used longitudinal data from 909 young adults to examine associations between substance use and the status and quality of romantic relationships. Heavy alcohol use, marijuana use, and cigarette smoking, as well as relationship status, relationship quality, partner substance use, and other salient life circumstances were assessed at four time points in the two years after high school. Marriage, cohabiting relationships, and noncohabiting dating relationships were associated with reductions in heavy drinking and marijuana use relative to non-dating, after adjusting for adolescent substance use; marriage compared to not dating was associated with reductions in cigarette smoking. For those in romantic relationships, partner substance use moderated the associations between relationship quality and substance use for heavy drinking and for marijuana use, supporting the hypothesis derived from the Social Development Model that the protective effect of stronger social bonds depends on the use patterns of the partner to whom an individual is bonded.
This study sought to determine the prevalence of suicidal ideation, plans, and attempts among 515 preadolescent (aged 9–11 years) maltreated children who entered foster care within the prior year. Over a quarter (26.4%) of the children had a history of suicidality according to their own and/or their caregiver’s report, 4.1% of whom were imminently suicidal. In bivariate analyses, children at higher risk of suicidality tended to be younger, non-Hispanic, abused, and to have experienced multiple types of maltreatment, more referrals to child welfare, more household transitions, and a longer length of time in foster care. There were no gender differences. Multiple regression analyses found physical abuse and chronicity of maltreatment to be the most robust predictors of suicidality. It is critically important that these high-risk children are screened for suicidality before adolescence and that caregivers and professionals are informed of their risk status so that they may implement mental health treatment, monitoring, and harm reduction measures.