Parental Competence Beliefs and Attributions for Achievement in Kindergarten: Effects on Parent Expectations

Georgia Stephanou, Maria Doulkeridou


The aim of this study was to examine (a) parental attributions for children’s performance in language, mathematics and globally school in kindergarten, (b) whether parents’ perceptions concerning their children’s academic ability predict the children’s school performance in kindergarten, the subsequent parental attributions, and the impact of school performance and parental attributions on parental expectations concerning their children’s later school performance in the first primary school year, and (c) the role of the three sets of concepts (perceived academic ability, performance in kindergarten, and subsequent parent attributions) in the formulation of parent expectations. The participants were parents of 150 kindergarten children (80 girls, 70 boys), who were randomly recruited from 45 state kindergartens of various towns of Greece. The results revealed: (a) parents attributed their children’s good performance to stable and, mainly, internal and personal controllable to the children’s factors, (b) the higher parents estimated their children’s ability, the better the children performed in the respective school subject, and the higher the parental attributions to internal, stable, personal controllable and external uncontrollable to the children’s factors were, (c) variability in the effect of parents’ perceptions of their children’s ability on attributions and performance between and within school subjects, in favoring language, and least favoring general school performance and (d) although parental perceived children’s academic ability was the most powerful predictor of parents’ expectations regarding their children’s performance in grade one, both the children’s past performance and the subsequent parental attributions accounted for a positive significant portion of the variance of it.

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