Mothers’ daily person and process praise: Implications for children’s theory of intelligence and motivation.
This research examined if mothers' day-to-day praise of children's success in school plays a role in children's theory of intelligence and motivation. Participants were 120 children (mean age = 10.23 years) and their mothers who took part in a 2-wave study spanning 6 months. During the first wave, mothers completed a 10-day daily interview in which they reported on their use of person (e.g., "You are smart") and process (e.g., "You tried hard") praise. Children's entity theory of intelligence and preference for challenge in school were assessed with surveys at both waves. Mothers' person, but not process, praise was predictive of children's theory of intelligence and motivation: The more person praise mothers used, the more children subsequently held an entity theory of intelligence and avoided challenge over and above their earlier functioning on these dimensions.