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Madon (2004)
Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
DO PARENTAL EXPECTATIONS OF DRINKING HABITS
COME TRUE?
Self-Fulfilling Prophecy (SFP)
Answer the following questions in your exercise books.
1.
Write a definition for ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’.
2.
What researchers (mentioned in week 1) examined
SFP and what did they find?
Madon (2004) & Self-fulfilling prophecy - Aims
To examine research examining the self-fulfilling
prophecy and drinking behaviour, looking at the aim,
method and results of Madon (2004).
To evaluate the effectiveness of Madon’s research.
To plot the nature vs. nurture of criminality using all the
research we have examined.
Madon (2004) – Aim & Method
Aim: To examine whether a parent’s expectations of
their child’s drinking habits, would become reality.
Method: 115 children aged between 12-13 (and their
parents) took part.

Parents estimated their child’s drinking habits and predicted
consumption for the following year.

One year later,
consumption.
the
children
estimated
their
own
Madon (2004) - Results
There were three main findings:
1.
Children who drank the most alcohol, were the ones
whose parents predicted a greater alcohol consumption.
2.
It only took one parent to have a negative opinion about
their child’s drinking habits, for a relationship with higher
levels of drinking to be established.
3.
However, the children at the greatest risk of alcohol use,
were those where both parents held negative beliefs.
Madon (2004) - Conclusion
A parent’s prediction of their child’s alcohol use, was
generally accurate. It could be argued that this is an
example of self-fulfilling prophecy because the parent(s)
expectations came true.
It also shows that a parent’s belief can have a large
impact on their child’s behaviour.
Madon (2004) – Evaluation
Draw a table (as below) and outline 2 strengths and weaknesses of
Madon’s study.
Strengths

Large sample equals greater validity.

Real-world application(s). Parents
should be wary about holding negative
beliefs about their children, as those
beliefs could come true, even if they
were false to begin with.
Weaknesses

The findings of this study may not
represent self-fulfilling prophecies, but
rather a parent’s accurate prediction of
their child’s drinking behaviour.

Correlational
causation.

Questionnaires have social desirability
bias.
–
does
not
show
Nature vs. Nurture
Using the key terms below, plot these on a nature vs. nurture line from the
most biological explanation (nature) to the most psychological explanation
(nurture). Make sure you can justify your answers.

Family studies

Family patterns

Adoption studies

Self-fulfilling prophecy (Madon 2004)

Twin studies

Childrearing strategies

XYY – Chromosomes (Theilgaard, 1984)
Nature
Nurture
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