Led by psychologist Dr Eirini Flouri, the researchers analysed information from a study of children born in 1970.
It was found that females, whose mothers had high hopes for them will feel more in control of their lives by the age of 30.
However, the study highlighted that maternal influence is only important for women and not men, reports Telegraph.
In the study, mother of ten-year-old children were asked to predict the age at which their child would leave school. This question was chosen to gauge the mother's belief in the capabilities of her daughter.
Later Flouri compared this information with an assessment of the children's self-confidence when they were thirty.
The results indicated that women's self esteem had a direct connection to their mother's belief in them, even when factors such as the children's intellectual ability and their parents' wealth were taken into account.
It is believed that mothers are more likely to push their daughters rather than their sons. But, daughter's earnings showed no link to their mother's expectations.
According to Flouri, belief in a child's abilities is "just one aspect" of parenting.
Britney Spears' mother has been accused of being a pushy mum and driving her career, starting when the star had her big break on Disney's Mickey Mouse Club when she was 12 years old.
The 26-year-old is now ranked as the eighth best-selling female recording artist in the US, to the Recording Industry Association of America.
The findings of the study are published in the Journal of Educational Psychology and reported in the New Scientist.