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A Recent UK Research has shown that pregnant women who believe they control their own destiny and do not leave things to fate are more likely to bring up children who perform well at GCSE.

They believe that mothers with a stronger belief determine their future and tend to take a more “hands-on” approach to parenting in the belief their actions will also impact their child’s life. They often engage their children in intellectually stimulating tasks such as reading and singing, giving them a head start on youngsters brought up by parents who are more fatalistic and less proactive, the researchers concluded.

The impact of mothers feeling personally empowered was seen in the improved GCSE results of their children.

The study, by the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP), analysed data from more than 10,000 young people and their mothers, who have taken part in the Children of the 90s project. Data included a psychological measure of mothers’ expectations about how much their own actions influence their life outcomes, collected during the first trimester of pregnancy, which researchers found strongly predicted how well the children performed in exams aged 16.

Professor Nattavudh Powdthavee, a senior author of the study, said the results could be explained by the differences in attitudes towards parenting between mothers.

She said: “Mothers who have a higher perceived sense of control over their life early on tend to believe in a more hands-on approach to parenting.

“This is simply because they strongly believe that their actions will make a difference in their child’s life. Consequently, they tend to engage their children in more cognitively stimulating activities such as reading and singing, compared with an average mother.”

“This seems to give their children a head start in terms of cognitive development compared with other children.”

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