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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The power of positive thinking can go a long way in pregnant women. A new study shows expectant mothers who have a cheerful attitude can have a positive effect on their child’s academic achievement, especially when it comes to math and science.

Researchers at the University of Bristol examined a personality trait called “the lotus of focus” — described as a “psychological measure of how much someone believes that they have control over the outcome of events in their life or whether external forces beyond their control dictates how life turns out,” according to researchers.

“It is widely known that the locus of control of a child is strongly associated with their academic achievements but until now we didn’t know if mothers’ locus of control orientation during pregnancy had a role to play in early childhood. Thanks to the longitudinal data from Children of the 90s study we can now make these associations.”

Researches asked 1,600 women to fill out questionnaires to determine their “lotus of focus,” and then studied their children’s math and science comprehension at ages eight, 11 and 13.

Mothers who believed in a connection between their actions and what happens to them while pregnant were found to have children that were better at math and science.

Those academic results can be seen as early as elementary school.