ERIC Number: EJ784478
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Reference Count: 0
Age-Related Changes in Children's Understanding of Effort and Ability: Implications for Attribution Theory and Motivation
Folmer, Amy S.; Cole, David A.; Sigal, Amanda B.; Benbow, Lovisa D.; Satterwhite, Lindsay F.; Swygert, Katherine E.; Ciesla, Jeffrey A.
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, v99 n2 p114-134 Feb 2008
Building on Nicholls's earlier work, we examined developmental changes in children's understanding of effort and ability when faced with a negative outcome. In a sample of 166 children and adolescents (ages 5-15 years), younger children conflated the meaning of effort and ability, explaining that smart students work hard, whereas older children understood effort and ability to be reciprocally related constructs, explaining that smart students do not need to work as hard. Understanding the reciprocal relation between effort and ability was correlated with age. Age-related changes in the meaning and correlates of effort and ability were also examined. Developmental implications for attribution theory and achievement motivation are discussed.
Descriptors: Attribution Theory, Achievement Need, Motivation, Age, Children, Adolescents, Child Development, Academic Ability
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A