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Age and Gender Differences in Children's Self- and Task Perceptions during Elementary School

Jacquelynne Eccles, Allan Wigfield, Rena D. Harold and Phyllis Blumenfeld
Child Development
Vol. 64, No. 3 (Jun., 1993), pp. 830-847
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1131221
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1131221
Page Count: 18
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Age and Gender Differences in Children's Self- and Task Perceptions during Elementary School
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Abstract

We examined the development of children's self- and task perceptions during the elementary school years. 865 first-, second,- and fourth-grade children (ages 7-10) completed questionnaires assessing their perceptions of competence in, and valuing of, activities in several activity domains (math, reading, sports, and instrumental music). Factor analyses showed that even the first graders had differentiated self-beliefs for the various activities. These analyses also indicated that children's competence beliefs and subjective task values formed distinct factors. Analyses assessing age and gender differences in children's beliefs showed that for all the activities except sports, younger children's (particularly the first graders) perceptions of competence and subjective task values were more positive than the beliefs of the older children. Boys had more positive competence beliefs and values than did girls for sport activities, and more positive competence beliefs for mathematics. Girls had more positive competence beliefs and values than did boys for reading and music activities.

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