Research Library

Children from families with fewer assets may lower their expectations for school success and plan to engage in less effort in school because the path to achieving their desired possible selves appears closed. To test this hypothesis, the authors examined the impact of experimentally manipulating beliefs about college as either ‘‘closed’’ (expensive) or ‘‘open’’ (can be paid for with need based financial aid) among low-income early adolescents. Adolescents assigned to an open-path condition expected higher grades than those assigned to a closed-path condition and planned to spend more time on homework than those assigned to a no-prime control condition.