This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Young Children's Vulnerability to Achievement Goals: A Validation Study




Cumbie, Emily

Type of Degree



Human Development and Family Studies


The purpose of this study was to explore validity of measures used to asses children as having a helpless or mastery oriented pattern of response to failure. Participants (N = 190) were part of a larger project, the Child Care Quality Enhancement Project. The participants in this study ranged in age from 36 - 67 months (M = 53.32). Males made up 51.9% of the sample and 57.9% were Caucasian. The children participated in a challenging task, and then rated on several indicators to assess achievement patterns. Results revealed that children’s perceptions of ability was significantly lower after experiencing failure, and their affect was significantly higher while working on tasks that were simpler. Few group differences were found, though. Based on these findings, the discussion focused on appropriate methods for classifying children according to achievement motivations.