Effects of feedback on children’s self-evaluations are well established, yet little is known about how parents talk with children about everyday successes and failures, despite the importance of parent–child reminiscing in children’s psychological understanding. We examine mothers’ attributions and performance evaluations in conversations about their 5-year-olds’ (N = 80) success and failure experiences, and connections between conversations and children’s self-evaluations. Conversations differed for success and failure: Mothers were equally likely to make internal-person, internal-process, or external attributions for successes, but were most likely to make an evaluation. For failures, mothers were equally likely to make internal-process or external attributions, or evaluations. Internal-person attributions for success and external attributions were associated with negative self-evaluations. However, children expressed fewer negative self-evaluations when mothers made internal-process attributions for failure, or positively evaluated the success. Results support the experimental literature and extend it to external attributions, which were common in mothers’ framing and linked to negative self-evaluations.
Goodvin, Rebecca and Rolfson, Jacqueline
"Mothers’ Attributions in Reminiscing Conversations About Children’s Successes and Failures: Connections With Children’s Self-Evaluations,"
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Vol. 60
, Article 3.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/mpq/vol60/iss1/3