The present study examined whether early adolescent females' school grades, educational aspirations, educational expectations, and the discrepancy between their aspirations and expectations could be predicted by maternal depressive symptoms. Of special interest was the potential moderating role of family structure, that is, whether the girls living in single-mother households were more vulnerable to the effects of maternal depressive mood state than were the girls living in intact, two-parent families. Questionnaire data were gathered from 44 mother-daughter dyads. Analyses indicated that for the single-mother/daughter subsample only, maternal depression scores predicted daughters' educational expectations over and above the effects of key parenting practices and level of maternal education. Possible reasons for the moderating effect of family structure, and the significance of examining academic-related perceptions among early adolescent girls are discussed. Themes including daughters serving as emotional confidantes to their mothers and mother-daughter emotional interreactivity are considered.