Effects of self-concept on children's causal attributions and self-reinforcement

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Abstract

Studied self-concept as a dispositional variable influencing children's cognitive-attributional and affective-self reinforcing reactions to achievement outcomes. 64 6th-graders classified as high or low in self-concept on an abbreviated version of the Piers-Harris Self-Concept Scale were given an achievement task on which they succeeded or failed. A preinstructional set was used to allow Ss to interpret their performance as being determined by skill or luck. More high than low self-concept children attributed their success to the skill cue. High self-concept Ss also engaged in more self-reward for success. Both self-concept groups used lack of skill to account for their failure, but the low group responded with more self-punishment. Results are discussed within an attributional model of achievement behavior. (27 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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