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Helplessness in Early Childhood: The Role of Contingent Worth.

Published on Dec 1, 1995in Child Development5.02
· DOI :10.1111/j.1467-8624.1995.tb00961.x
Karen Klein Burhans1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Columbia University),
Carol S. Dweck76
Estimated H-index: 76
(Columbia University)
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Abstract
This article presents an expanded view of the bases of helpless reactions to failure. This view stems from recent findings of helplessness in young children. Previous formulations have stressed the attainment of invariant trait conceptions as a necessary condition for helplessness to occur and have suggested that children are relatively invulnerable to helplessness prior to this attainment. We review a series of studies documenting that key aspects of helplessness are present in preschool and early elementary school children (ages 4–7). We then propose a preliminary model in which (a) a general conception of self and (b) the notion of this self as an object of contingent worth are sufficient conditions for helplessness. We integrate this view with Dweck and Leggett's model of helplessness in older individuals, in which more differentiated trait conceptions play an important role.
  • References (40)
  • Citations (157)
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References40
Newest
Published on Dec 8, 1995
Martin L. Maehr34
Estimated H-index: 34
Part of a series that reflects research and theory concerned with motivation and achievement in work, school and play, this title focuses on a particular issue or theme.
Published on Jan 1, 1995in Merrill-palmer Quarterly
Kathleen M. Cain5
Estimated H-index: 5
,
Carol S. Dweck76
Estimated H-index: 76
Among children in fifth and higher grades, the helpless motivational pattern is associated with the idea that intelligence is a fixed entity. Cognitive concommitants of helplessness in younger children, however, are not well understood. To identify developmental relations between motivational patterns and cognitions about ability and achievement, 139 first, third, and fifth graders' beliefs about ability and achievement were assessed, as well as their motivational responses to challenging puzzle...
Published on Dec 1, 1994in Child Development5.02
Patricia A. Smiley7
Estimated H-index: 7
(Pomona College),
Carol S. Dweck76
Estimated H-index: 76
(Columbia University)
Smiley, Patricia A., and Dweck, Carol S. Individual Differences in Achievement Goals among Young Children. Child Development, 1994 65, 1723–1743. Developmental research has generally not found evidence of helpless responses to failure in young children; a prevailing view is that young children lack the cognitive prerequisite for helplessness. However, recent evidence suggests that even preschoolers are vulnerable to helplessness in some situations. In the present study with 4- and 5-year-olds, w...
Published on Jun 1, 1992in Child Development5.02
Michael Lewis76
Estimated H-index: 76
(UMDNJ: University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey),
Steven M. Alessandri17
Estimated H-index: 17
(Drexel University),
Margaret Wolan Sullivan29
Estimated H-index: 29
(UMDNJ: University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey)
3-year-old children were presented with easy and difficult tasks and their emotional responses of shame and pride were observed. No shame was shown when subjects succeeded on the tasks and no pride was shown when they failed. Significantly more shame was shown when subjects failed easy tasks than when they failed difficult tasks, and significantly more pride was shown when subjects succeeded on difficult than on easy tasks. While there were no sex differences in task failures, girls showed more ...
Published on Apr 1, 1992in Child Development5.02
Gail D. Heyman28
Estimated H-index: 28
(UIUC: University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign),
Carol S. Dweck76
Estimated H-index: 76
(Columbia University),
Kathleen M. Cain5
Estimated H-index: 5
(Gettysburg College)
Motivational helplessness, linked to conceptions of intelligence, has been well documented in older children. While some researchers have reported that children just starting school are motivationally invulnerable, others have found evidence of helplessness when these children encounter failure. The present study seeks to determine whether the reactions associated with helplessness can be identified in a new context, that of criticism, and whether any such responses are related to the child's co...
Deborah Stipek49
Estimated H-index: 49
,
Susan L. Recchia9
Estimated H-index: 9
+ 1 AuthorsMichael Lewis76
Estimated H-index: 76
Published on Jan 1, 1990
Carol S. Dweck76
Estimated H-index: 76
(Columbia University)
Published on Jan 1, 1990in Developmental Psychology3.34
Deborah Stipek49
Estimated H-index: 49
(UCLA: University of California, Los Angeles),
J. Heidi Gralinski5
Estimated H-index: 5
(UCLA: University of California, Los Angeles),
Claire B. Kopp19
Estimated H-index: 19
(UCLA: University of California, Los Angeles)
This study was designed to determine groupings of behaviors asociated with self-concept development in toddlers and the sequence in which groups of behaviors appear. Mothers of 123 toddlers of ages 14 to 40 months reported on the presence of 25 behaviors associated with the self.
Published on Jan 1, 1988in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology5.92
Elaine S. Elliott1
Estimated H-index: 1
,
Carol S. Dweck76
Estimated H-index: 76
(Harvard University)
Une experience examine le role des objectifs lies a l'apprentissage et a la performance dans la determination des structures de reussite (mesures du choix, performance et verbalisations pendant les difficultes rencontrees)
Cited By157
Newest
Published on Jan 1, 2019in Contemporary Educational Psychology2.48
Nantje Otterpohl1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Giessen),
Rafael Lazar (University of Giessen), Joachim Stiensmeier-Pelster12
Estimated H-index: 12
(University of Giessen)
Abstract Parental academic conditional positive regard (PACPR) is a socializing strategy in which parents provide more affection, esteem, and attention than usual when their child studies hard and achieves in school. It is favored and recommended as a positive parenting strategy, whereas empirical findings increasingly document serious psychological costs of this well-intended strategy. PACPR can be conceptualized as an important antecedent of test anxiety. However, no study has tested this assu...
Published on Oct 1, 2018in Psychonomic Bulletin & Review3.70
Bruno Sauce6
Estimated H-index: 6
(RU: Rutgers University),
Christopher Wass9
Estimated H-index: 9
(RU: Rutgers University)
+ 1 AuthorsLouis D. Matzel30
Estimated H-index: 30
(RU: Rutgers University)
The typical practice of averaging group performance during extinction gives the impression that responding declines gradually and homogeneously. However, previous studies of extinction in human infants have shown that some individuals persist in responding, whereas others abruptly cease responding. As predicted by theories of control, the infants who quickly resign typically display signs of sadness and despair when the expected reward is omitted. Using genetically diverse mice, here we observed...
Published on Jun 1, 2018in Developmental Review4.85
Katherine Muenks2
Estimated H-index: 2
(IU: Indiana University),
Allan Wigfield60
Estimated H-index: 60
(UMD: University of Maryland, College Park),
Jacquelynne S. Eccles107
Estimated H-index: 107
(UCI: University of California, Irvine)
Abstract We review work on the development of children and adolescents’ expectancy and competence beliefs for academic achievement domains across the elementary and secondary school years, and how they become calibrated to children’s performance. The work reviewed stems from prominent achievement motivation theories: expectancy-value theory, social cognitive theory, self-worth theory, and self-determination theory. Broadly, research on the development of children’s expectancy and competence beli...
Published on Jan 1, 2018
Hika Kuroshima15
Estimated H-index: 15
(Kyoto University),
Kazuo Fujita31
Estimated H-index: 31
(Kyoto University)
Humans regularly help others upon seeing them in trouble, often almost impulsively. Help may be given even to strangers or to different species, with no return expected. Studies have reported that not only humans but also non-human primates show prosocial behaviours, such as helping and cooperation, in both natural and captive settings. Some researchers suggest that these behaviours relate to a sense of fairness and an ability to empathize. However, it is still not clear what kinds of affective ...
Published on Dec 1, 2017in Journal of School Psychology3.08
Jan N. Hughes40
Estimated H-index: 40
(A&M: Texas A&M University),
Qian Cao3
Estimated H-index: 3
(A&M: Texas A&M University)
+ 2 AuthorsCarissa Cerda3
Estimated H-index: 3
(A&M: Texas A&M University)
Abstract This study investigated the effect of grade retention in elementary school on dropping out of school by age 16. Participants were 538 (54% males) ethnically diverse, academically at-risk students recruited from Texas schools into a longitudinal study when they were in first grade (mean age = 6.58). Propensity score weighting successfully equated the 171 retained students and the 367 continuously promoted students on 65 covariates assessed in grade 1. Fifty-one students dropped out of sc...
Published on Nov 9, 2017in Journal of Educational Psychology5.18
Jan N. Hughes40
Estimated H-index: 40
(A&M: Texas A&M University),
Stephen G. West65
Estimated H-index: 65
(ASU: Arizona State University)
+ 1 AuthorsShelby S. Bauer1
Estimated H-index: 1
(A&M: Texas A&M University)
This 14-year prospective study investigated the effect of retention in Grades 1–5 on high school completion (diploma, GED, or drop out). Participants were 734 (52.7% males) ethnically diverse, academically at-risk students recruited from Texas schools into the study when they were in first grade (mean age = 6.57). Propensity score weighting successfully equated the 256 retained students and the 478 students continuously promoted students on 65 covariates assessed in Grade 1. At the end of 14 yea...
Published on Nov 1, 2017in Child Development5.02
Andrei Cimpian20
Estimated H-index: 20
(NYU: New York University),
Matthew D. Hammond11
Estimated H-index: 11
(Victoria University of Wellington)
+ 1 AuthorsGrace Corry1
Estimated H-index: 1
(UIUC: University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign)
There is debate about the abstractness of young children's self-concepts—specifically, whether they include representations of (a) general traits and abilities and (b) the global self. Four studies (N = 176 children aged 4–7) suggested these representations are indeed part of early self-concepts. Studies 1 and 2 reexamined prior evidence that young children cannot represent traits and abilities. The results suggested that children's seemingly immature judgments in previous studies were due to pe...
Published on Oct 21, 2017
Hatice Özgan Sucu (Nevşehir University), Merve Bulut (Nevşehir University)
The purpose of the study is to determine the level of learned helplessness of university preparatory students in learning English. In accordance with this purpose, it is examined whether there is a significant difference among the gender of the university preparatory students, their objectives of learning English, their residence, and students’ perceived English achievement levels with regard to students’ levels of learned helplessness in learning English. The presented study is a qualitative re...
Published on Sep 7, 2017
Barry J. Zimmerman72
Estimated H-index: 72
,
Dale H. Schunk72
Estimated H-index: 72