In laboratory studies, praising children's effort encourages them to adopt incremental motivational frameworks--they believe ability is malleable, attribute success to hard work, enjoy challenges, and generate strategies for improvement. In contrast, praising children's inherent abilities encourages them to adopt fixed-ability frameworks. Does the praise parents spontaneously give children at home show the same effects? Although parents' early praise of inherent characteristics was not associated with children's later fixed-ability frameworks, parents' praise of children's effort at 14-38 months (N = 53) did predict incremental frameworks at 7-8 years, suggesting that causal mechanisms identified in experimental work may be operating in home environments.
© 2013 The Authors. Child Development © 2013 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.