The Psychological Record

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 173–185 | Cite as

A Categorical Analysis of Children’s Attributions for Social Success and Failure

  • Brian M. Earn
  • Michael P. Sobol


The social attributions of Grades 4 and 5 children were assessed within an open-ended interview format. Children were classified according to the number of peer acceptances and rejections they received and were then asked to explain hypothetical instances of social success and failure. They also completed measures of expectation of success and social self-esteem. The results indicated that sociometrie status, as measured by both acceptance and rejection, influenced the types of causes that children used. Children with high acceptance and low rejection scores utilized causes that were significantly more controllable than were those causes provided by any of the other groups of children. The implications of these findings for future research on children’s social attributions are discussed.


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Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian M. Earn
    • 1
  • Michael P. Sobol
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of GuelphGuelph, OntarioCanada

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