Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > A Longitudinal Examination of African American Adolescents’ Attributions about Achievement Outcomes

Developmental, gender and academic domain differences in casual attributions and the influence of these attributions on classroom engagement were explored in 115 African American adolescents. Adolescents reported their attributions for success and failure in math, English/writing, and science, and their classroom engagement in eighth grade and eleventh grade. Ability attributions for math became more maladaptive from eighth to eleventh grade, and across grades, boys were generally more likely than girls to report adaptive math ability attributions. Compared to girls, boys were more likely to attribute English failure to low ability. Eighth grade success ability attributions were positively related to Grade 11 classroom engagement, whereas eighth and eleventh grade failure ability attributions were negatively related to engagement. Implications of the results in regard to the relationship between gender stereotypes and attributions are discussed.