This study investigated the interindividual stability and mean-level changes in parents’ causal attributions for their children’s academic performance across a 9-year period from the first year in primary school (Grade 1, age 7) to the end of lower secondary school (Grade 9, age 16). In all, 212 children participated in the study. The results showed that, after we controlled for the children’s level of academic performance, the parents made fairly similar causal attributions when their children were in the ninth grade as they did in the first grade. Changes in the mean-level happened in only external attributions. Further, the differences between mothers and fathers in the stability of their causal attributions, and with regard to girls vs. boys, were minor. The results support the notion that parents’ attributional styles may play an important role in their causal attributions for their children’s academic performance.


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pp. 509-536
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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