Parent praise to 1- to 3-year-olds predicts children's motivational frameworks 5 years later

Child Dev. Sep-Oct 2013;84(5):1526-41. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12064. Epub 2013 Feb 11.

Abstract

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.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Achievement
  • Aptitude
  • Attitude
  • Child
  • Child Development / physiology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intelligence
  • Male
  • Motivation*
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Sex Factors