Sex and locus of control as determinants of children's responses to peer versus adult praise

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Abstract

Gave 80 Black 1st graders varying in internal-external control (as identified by scores on the Stanford Preschool Internal-External Scale) a series of digit substitution problems during which their performance was praised by either a Black boy and girl or a Black man and woman ostensibly watching them from another room. Agents' feedback was previously videotaped. As predicted, boys were most responsive to peer feedback and girls were most responsive to adult feedback, as revealed by faster problem-solving rates on reinforced tasks, higher scores on a related substitution task, and greater attributions of agent helpfulness. Predictions involving locus of control received only modest support. The relationship of these results to earlier studies involving dissimilar populations is discussed and educational implications are drawn. (29 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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