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Predictors of Persistence in High School Children

Predictors of Persistence in High School Children –

Declaration

I, _______________, do hereby solemnly declare that the work submitted in this thesis Predictors of Persistence in High School Children  is my own, and has not been presented to any other institution or university for the degree. This work has been completed at the Institute of Applied Psychology, University.

_________________________

Acknowledgement   

Glory to Allah Almighty, I pay my most humble thank you to Allah Almighty, the Beneficent and the merciful, who blessed me with great courage and strength to undertake this task and helped me at every hour of difficulty which started from the selection of topic till the completion of the entire thesis. Without His help I would not have reached this step.

I’m heartily thankful and indebted to my respected supervisor, who was a BIG helping hand for me at every hour of difficulty which started from the selection of the topic till the completion of the entire thesis, who was always present for me with invaluable kind behavior, supervision, support, and solution of my every problem. It was her guidance and support from the initial to the final level that enabled me to develop an understanding and completion of the research work. Without her help this research would surely not have been materialized.

I would like to thank Director of the Institute, whose help and guidance at all stages of completion of this research in its true sense.

Very special thanks to my beloved father who helped me in each and every step regarding my thesis, for helping me in data collection, composing as well as his encouragement able me to complete this task. His love, care and encourage was only a single source which enabled to complete this task. I am very thankful to my mother, my sister and brother in law, my honorable and respected teachers and my sweet friends  for their best wishes bundle of prayers, moral support, enhancing my courage and made me able to complete thesis work.

I take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all the concerned authorities, authors of the scales, principals of the schools for their permission. I am also thankful to participants who actively participated without any gain and gave me their precious time and information for this research project.

Last but not least I am very thankful to library and computer lab staff and all existing staff of the Institute of Applied Psychology and especially to every individual who directly and indirectly make this task possible for me.

May all of above be blessed with the best in both worlds. Amin!

Table of Contents

Chapter # 1

  • Introduction                                                                                        1
  • 1.1 Persistence                                                                                                            1
    • 1.1.1    Types of Persistence                                                                           2
    • 1.1.1.1 Short-term or Task Persistence                                               2
    • 1.1.1.2 Grit as perseverance and passion for long term goals             3
    • 1.1.1.3 Affect perseverance                                                                4
    • 1.1.1.4 Belief perseverance                                                                 4
  • 1.1.2 Influences of Persistence                                                                       5
  • 1.2 Perfectionism                                                                                                        6
  • 1.2.1 Types of Perfectionism                                                                          8
  • 1.3 Attributional Styles                                                                                               12
    • 1.3.1 Types of Attributions                                                                             13
    • 1.3.2 Theories of Attributions                                                                         13
      • 1.3.2.1 Correspondent Inference Theory                                            14
      • 1.3.2.2 Kelley’s Co variation Model                                                   15
      • 1.3.2.3 Weiner’s Model of Achievement Attributions                       16
  • 1.4 Self-efficacy belief                                                                                               18
  • 1.5 Feedback                                                                                                               22

Chapter # 2

  • Literature Review                                                                               27
  • 2.1 Persistence                                                                                                            27
  • 2.2 Perfectionism                                                                                                        29
  • 2.3 Attributional Style                                                                                                31
  • 2.4 Self-efficacy                                                                                                         32
  • 2.5 Feedback                                                                                                               33
  • Rational                                                                                                                       34

Chapter # 3

  • Study I                                                                                                            35
  • 3.1 Objective                                                                                                               35
  • 3.2 Hypothesis                                                                                                            35
  • 3.3 Method                                                                                                                 37
    • 3.3.1 Research Design                                                                                    37
    • 3.3.2 Sample                                                                                                   37
      • 3.3.2.1 Inclusion criteria                                                                     37
      • 3.3.2.2 Exclusion criteria                                                                    37
  • 3.3.3 Assessment Measures                                                                            40
    • 3.3.3.1 Demographic Questionnaire                                                   40
    • 3.3.3.2 The Almost Perfect Scale                                                       40
    • 3.3.3.3 Attribution of Problem Cause and Solution Scale                  41
    • 3.3.3.4 General Self-efficacy scale                                                     42
    • 3.3.3.5 Grit Scale                                                                                43
  • 3.3.4 Procedure                                                                                               44
  • 3.3.5 Ethical Considerations                                                                           44
  • 3.4 Results                                                                                                                  45
    • 3.4.1 Summary of Results                                                                               56

Chapter # 4

  • Study II                                                                                              57
  • 4.1 Objective                                                                                                               57
  • 4.2 Hypothesis                                                                                                            57
  • 4.3 Method                                                                                                                 59
    • 4.4.1 Research Design                                                                                    59
    • 4.4.2 Sample                                                                                                   59
      • 4.4.2.1 Inclusion criteria                                                                     59
      • 4.4.2.2 Exclusion criteria                                                                    59
  • 4.4.4 Assessment Measures                                                                            60
    • 4.4.4.1 Demographic Questionnaire                                                   60
    • 4.4.4.2 The Almost Perfect Scale                                                       60
    • 4.4.4.3 Attribution of Problem Cause and Solution Scale                  60
    • 4.4.4.4 General Self-efficacy scale                                                     60
    • 4.4.4.5 Anagrams                                                                                60
  • 4.4.4 Procedure                                                                                               62
  • 4.4.5 Ethical Considerations                                                                           63
  • 4.4 Results                                                                                                                  63
    • 4.4.1 Summary of Results                                                                               76

Chapter # 5

  • Discussion                                                                                           78
  • 5.1 Conclusion                                                                                                            82
  • 5.2 Limitations                                                                                                            82
  • Reference
  • Appendices

List of Tables

  • Table 1 Demographic Characteristics of the Sample                                                              38
  • Table 3.2 Reliabilities and Descriptives of Study Variables                                                   45
  • Table 3.3 Gender Differences in Persistence for Long term Goals, Perfectionism, Attributional styles and Self efficacy.                                                                                              46
  • Table 3.4 Correlations between Study Variables in boys (light face) and girls (bold face)   47
  • Table 3.5 Hierarchical Regression analysis for predictors of consistency of interest 50
  • Table 3.6 Hierarchical Regression Analysis for Prediction of Perseverance of Effort           53
  • Table 4.1 Demographic Characteristics of the Sample                                                           59
  • Table 4.2  Selected words for the three sets of problems.                                                      61
  • Table 4.3 Descriptives of Study Variables                                                                             64
  • Table 4.4 Difference in persistence for short term goals (seconds) in three feedback conditions                                                                                                                              65
  • Table 4.5 Gender Differences in Persistence for Long term Goals, Perfectionism, Attributional styles and Self efficacy                                                                                               66
  • Table 4.6 Correlations between Study Variables in boys (light face) and girls (bold face)   67
  • Table 4.7 Hierarchical Regression analysis for predictors of persistence of short term goals 70

List of Figures

  • Figure 3.1 Internal problem cause in relation to consistency of interest in boys and girls     52
  • Figure 3.2 Self-efficacy in relation to consistency of interest in boys and girls                     53
  • Figure 4.1 Internal problem cause in relation to consistency of interest in boys and girls     73
  • Figure 4.2 External problem cause in relation to persistence for short term goals in Boys and girls                                                                                                                                      74
  • Figure 4.3 External problem solution in relation to persistence for short term goals in Boys and girls                                                                                                                                  75

List of Appendices

  • Appendix A    Informed Consent Form of correlational study
  • Appendix B    Informed Consent Form of experimental study
  • Appendix C    Demographic Information
  • Appendix D    Tools Used in Study
  • Almost perfect scale-R
  • Attribution of problem cause and solution scale
  • General self-efficacy scale
  • Grit Scale: perseverance and passion for long term goals
  • List of Anagrams
  • Appendix E     Permission to Use Scales
  • Appendix F     Authority Letters for Data Collection
  • Appendix G     Plagiarism Report

Abstract

The present research was aimed to explore the predictors of persistence in high school children. The current research was comprised of two studies. Both studies were conducted on students of 9th and 10th class of government schools. First study was correlational study. Relationship of perfectionism, Attributional styles and self-efficacy with persistence for long term goals was assessed. The almost Perfect Scale by Slaney, Rice, Mobley, Trippi, & Ashby (2001), Attribution of Problem Cause and Solution Scale by Stepleman, Darcy, & Tracey (2005) and General Self-efficacy scale by Schwarzer, & Jerusalem (1995) were used for both studies. Grit scale: Perseverance and Passion for Long-Term Goals (Duckworth, Peterson, Matthews, & Kelly 2007) was used to measure Persistence for long term goals. Results were partially proved. Order (dimension of perfectionism), internal problem cause attributional styles and self-efficacy found to be related with only one dimension of persistence for long term goals i-e. Perseverance of effort. Second study was experimental study in which persistence for short term goals was assessed through an experiment and effect of feedback was examined. Relationship was also assessed of Perfectionism, Attributional styles, Self-efficacy with persistence for short term goals. Relationship of Excellent and poor with persistence for short term goals was found only in girls. Results partially proved the assumptions of the studies. Persistence is important factor of good performance; study will be helpful in counseling centers as well as for teachers and parents that they should also give attention to this aspect also.

Keywords: Persistence, experiment, feedback, perseverance, consistency

Chapter I

Introduction

Lifelong learning is based on self-managed learning.Stamina of learners to sustain as self-directedPredictors of Persistence in High School Children learners is dynamic for academic success of them. Persistence is also considered an attributed value by most of the people. Persistence is a constant learning process that long last until an student meets his or her educational targets of goals. It is common observation that some people more persist for their work then the others which shows that there are many factors that are responsible for this trait. These factors can be internal or external that effects the persistence level of an individual. The present study will be conduct to find the factors that effects the person’s persistence for completing their work.

The present research examined the persistence in high school children. The following chapter will present definitions of persistence, perfectionism, attributional styles, self-efficacy belief, feedback and academic achievement as these are the main factors that play vital role in  persistence an individual. It will also clarify some related terms, present existing information on these variables. It will focus on relevant researches in this area and provide theoretical rationale for the relationship between variables. Possible contribution of this study to existing body of knowledge will also be discussed.

1.1 Persistence

Persistence is described as to endurance of an individual in programs for as long as they can, and to remain busy in self-directed learning and completes the program overcoming various encounters they may face (Parker, 2003). Persistence is also considered as perseverance as persistence as Truchan (2008) defined perseverance as sticking to one’s progression of schedules. This definition is applied to all those beliefs which continued our beliefs even our purpose is completed. It is also considered to stable with one’s thoughts along their ideas.

One major difference between children and the adult learner is that children are susceptible to learn information by rote or memory while acquisition of knowledge in adult learners is from everyday practical experiences and knowledge. They prefer practical learning as compare to listening to lectures in a classroom environment. That’s why they make choice whether they will attend or not each class and therefore they must stunned important obstacles in order to attend classes. Therefore persistence or perseverance of those individuals is highly correlated with academic performance or achievement of adult learners (Kahn & Nauta, 2001).

Persistence refers to ability of an individual to persevere with challenging tasks. The competence to sustain at a task, even if it is complicated or boring, most likely enhances the one’s chances to learn in general and, particularly, within the school environment (Karnes, Johnson, Cohen, & Shwedel, 1985; Martin, 1989). In addition, persistence is more facilitative in development of cognitive competencies and effective problem solving (Karnes, Johnson, & Beauchamp, 1989) if it is implemented consistently across different situations (Sigman, Cohen, Beckwith, & Topinka, 1987).

1.1.1 Types of Persistence.

Persistence or perseverance is categorized in four types by summarizing literature. (1). Task persistence or persistence for short-term goals. (2). Grit or persistence for long term goals.  (3). Affect perseverance or persistence. (4). Belief perseverance or persistence.

1.1.1.1. Short-term or task persistence

Bandura (1986) defined persistence as durability, or the decline to comply, particularly when one is confronted with obstruction. In other words, persistence is the predisposition to struggle continuously in a given way in spite of difficulties and barriers. persistence has been evaluated under this type as either (a) persistence can be scored by measuring the time during free time period, that a person spends in practicing any task in between two perceived situations of failure (Andrews & Debus, 1978; Rudisill & Singer, 1988), or (b) by scoring the number of times in which an individual is tied up in a task during a given free-time period after seemed failure ( Gernigon & Fleurance, 1998; Johnson & Biddle, 1988).

1.1.1.2. Grit as perseverance and passion for long-term goals.

Duckworth, Peterson, Matthews, & Kelly (2007) defined that Grit refers to work persistently toward challenges, upholding efforts and interest over years regardless of failure, adversity difficulties of certain goal. The gritty individual approaches achievement as a difficult; and their stamina is their main advantage. When others think gritty people change their path but they remain on their way, even after showing disappointment to others, which they think is time to change their path.

Researchers and scientists have concluded the similar findings about individuals who had long history of their achievements by building upon factual collections of famous leaders in history. Ability plays still analytically important role, these individuals also possessed passion and persistence of motive and effort (Duckworth, Peterson, Matthews, & Kelly, 2007). Grit is considered to be a crucial differentiator from similar construct because of this dual component. Grit is defined as a stable trait which was not based on instant positive feedback.High gritty Individuals are able to maintain their determination and motivation over long period of time in spite of experiences with failure and difficulty. Overriding factor that provides the stamina; required to stay the course, aimed challenge and set-backs is their passion and assurance towards the long-term objective.

1.1.1.3. Affect perseverance

Truchan (2008) defined as affect perseverance as a mental state of an individual. This mental stay is related to affections and emotions towards a person of liking. Affect perseverance is condition of the mind in which even original emotions and thoughts are worthless when emotional preferences for a particular person or object continues. It almost defined as feelings of an individual is irrational. Affect perseverance is the feelings of an individual are not depended on a fact or any particular thing. Once the feelings develop and particular aspect is triggered then these feelings cannot be control. These feelings follow their own course. Individual cannot be control or change these types of feelings. And even if reasons of these types of feelings are no more present, even then also individual maintain his feelings.That’s why this Affect Perseverance calls feelings of an individual as irrational.

1.1.1.4. Belief Perseverance

People tend to hold on to their beliefs even when it seems to be that they shouldn’t belief. Belief perseverance refers to an individual’s initial belief that does not change even after receiving new information that opposes or do not ratify the basis of that belief. Behavior is affected in several ways by these beliefs of personal competence. These belief influences the choices of an individual that they make and the courses of actions.Efficacy beliefs determine that people expend how much effort on an activity and how long they preserve when they are confronted with difficulties and challenges and how resilient they prove in the face of opposing situations. High level of self-efficacy lead towards the more effort, persistence, and flexibility.

Bandura (1986) gave one of the basic concepts “self-regulation” in social cognitive theory is self-regulation. There are three basic ways for development of self-regulation; Goal Setting, Planning, and Persistence. Learners who have complete control on them and remain busy in academic chores, they can build an interpretation of a properties of the task and requirements depending on their knowledge and beliefs and then they set goals. After that they tried to accomplish these goals to generate products, both mental (cognitive and effective/emotional) and behavioral by applying schemes and strategies. They create internal feedback when they monitored these processes of engagement and the progressively update products. It offers basis for re understanding the elements of the task and their engagement with it, so directing successive engagement (Bandura, 1997).

It is possible that students change their engagements by setting and maintaining new goals or extant to previous ones; they may recheck schemes and strategies and select more productive approaches, adjust available and provided skills, and sometimes even generate new procedures. If feedback is available from other sources also, then more information may confirmed the interpretation of the task.  As a result of monitoring and checking their task engagement, students may change their knowledge and beliefs, which, in turn, may influence successive self-regulation (Butler & Winne, 1995).

1.1.2. Influences of Persistence.

Persistence is a characteristic of self-regulation, cognition, and behavior (Deater-Deckard, Petrill, Thompson, & DeThorne, 2005). It seems to have considerable influence on competence of an individual as well as a child, from self-regulation to cognitive performance. (McCartney & Berry, 2005).

Persistence has been presented as to be related with academic results. In fact, it has been a important predictor not only of the progress in reading ability from playgroup to 3rd grade but also of reading achievement in children with lower intelligence (Newman, Noel, Chen, & Matsopoulos,1996). In addition, in different literature, it has been concluded that persistence in individuals particularly in children, can be increased through closeness, verbal support, and the upgrading the task procedures (Krantz & Scarth, 1979). Therefore, persistence appears to be an important changeable learning behavior that is influential in the promotion and continuation of learning chances.

It is assumed that children who do their task  persistently have more chance to learn and perform better in school as significant individual differences are found in the school children who approach tasks, as compare to those children who do not persistent in their work (Karnes, Johnson, Cohen & Shwedel, 1985).

There are many factors that affect the performance of individuals. According to previous literature, an individual’s perfectionism level, their attributional style that how they attribute their failure or success, feedback that is given after their performance and their level of self-efficacy has a crucial role in their persistence to complete their task (Rozek, 2005).

The first important and major factor is child’s own perfectionism level that how much he or she is confident about him or her performance, how can well he or she can do in exams.It plays vital role in child’s performance as well as in his or her ability to sustain on problem unless he or she solve it.

1.2 Perfectionism

Perfectionism refers to a set of thoughts of those actions which are done to defeat his own purpose and behaviors. These are concerned with reaching extremely high and idealistic goals, even in those areas or field where there is no importance of high performance. Individuals who want to be perfectionists often involve in excessively critical self-evaluations. These individuals often generalized their failures, and therefore their failure becomes major part of their attention rather than their success (Ram, 2005).

Perfectionist think deeply about the things which they want to do or think nothing due to their confidence or loss of failure, even if they do not meet with their targeted goals without their mistake; they take it as their failure.They have inflexible thinking and planning of what integrate success and failure. They have often practice a fear of making mistakes, and measure their dignity and ego in terms of efficiency and success. They feel deficit personal worth if they failure to achieve their goals worth (Blankstein, Flett, Hewitt & Eng, 1993; Broday, 1988; Brophy, 2005). The anxiety of downfall and loss, not to be a perfectionist and of not being able to perform according to the expectations and intentions of themselves and other people, can cause astounding feelings that lead to procrastination as an escaping strategy- it permits the individual to avoid it less than perfect performance (Frost & Marten, 1990; Frost, Marten, Lahart & Rosenblate, 1990; Peters, 2005). Perfectionistic individuals may also hold this belief that if they are not doing major sacrifices, their standards are not enough hard and levels of discipline can be improved in better way (Shafran, Cooper, & Fairburn, 2002).

Perfectionists have also anxiety about being rejected by others, and they have core believe that if other see their flaws at any time they will not be accepted. They have common believe that other people have achieved success with slight effort or stress, while they think that they have to work hard without gaining success (Frost & Marten, 1990; Hall, 2005). To sum up, these irrational and illogical beliefs can lead to the experience of negative emotions, such as shame, guilt and embarrassment (Tangney, 2002).

Perfectionism is a personality temperament characters in which struggle for faultlessness and excessively high standards for performance are set and are complemented by predispositions for high analytical evaluations (Flett & Hewitt, 2002). It is a nature that involves all areas of life, specially school and work, and may also change an individual’s personal appearance and social relationships (Stoeber & Stoeber, 2009).

Perfectionism is a trait that has been considered as having both negative and positive tendencies. Positive tendency includes arrogant and dignified performance while negative tendency includes high level of stress and self-criticism. These both dispositions based on the individuals and the context. Perfectionism is sometime considered as pathological, after setting oneself for failure when individual set highly aspiring goals (Burns, 1980; Pacht, 1984).

1.2.1. Types of Perfectionism.

According to Hamachek (1978), two types of perfectionism identified.(i)Neurotic perfectionism:Individuals are called Neurotic perfectionists who have high standards and they cannot meet with those standards, and they do not think that they are adequately good. (ii). Normal perfectionists:Normal perfectionists have little bit temperament to bear errors and have a point of view that the basic needs of any task only for success (Hamachek, 1978). So, normal perfectionist people live in their daily routine normally and these normalities do not disturb them.

Many suggestions and ideas have summarized different types of perfectionism. Somov (2010) has explained four types of perfectionism.

(i) Neurotic Perfectionism: These individual only want appreciation from other peoples(Flett & Hewitt, 2002). Neurotic perfectionists can never bear to be a loser. They are irritated by their egos. These people are the sufferer of poor parenting, social burdens, and possibly of exploitation. According to Millon (2000), these peoples showa strong dependency, obedience to the principals and ideas and apprehensions of others (As cited in Somov, 2010).

(ii) Narcissistic Perfectionism: Individuals with narcissistic perfectionism are intolerant of insufficiency and inadequacy in their work and they feel bad if they do not perform well. If they feel and think that everything going around them is perfect, they feel satisfied and feel good about themselves (Somov, 2010).

(iii) Principled (Puritanical) Perfectionism: People with principled perfectionism are very careful about ethics and norms and always try to follow them. Principled perfectionists feel so devotedly about what they believe that they take the risk of compelling others for their beliefs. They struggle for moral perfection and demand nothing less of themselves. In result they are not only extremely hard on themselves but they may be also critical about imperfections of others (Somov, 2010).

 (iv) Hyper-Attentive (Compensatory)Perfectionism: New information or external events easily detract or disturbed the individual with this type of information. (Beck et al., 2004). According to the Shapiro (1965) suggestions, the processing of integrated information is based on deficits of society (As cited in Somov, 2010).

Some other researchers suggested two other types of perfectionism in terms of adaptive or maladaptive (Rice, Ashby & Slaney, 1998). (i). Adaptive perfectionists people maintain and follow high standards and tried to be organized and the good point is present in them that they do not challenge their self-esteem, which shows surety that they feel happy relaxed and good even they do not perform well (Rice & Mirzadeh, 2000). This aspect of adaptive perfectionism could compare to Hamachek’s normal perfectionism. (ii). Maladaptive perfectionists feel never content and pleased with themselves; they never seems to be happy and contented about achieving tasks if they do not perform perfectly and feel anxiety about their imperfections (Rice & Mirzadeh, 2000). This aspect of maladaptive perfectionism could compare to Hamachek’s normal perfectionism.

Healthy perfectionism and unhealthy other two types defined in literature (Stumpf & Parker, 2000). Positive and negative perfectionism types (Terry-Short, Owens, Slade, & Dewey, 1995), active and passive perfectionism (Adkins & Parker, 1996), etc.

Hewitt and Flett’s (1991) models of perfectionism distinguishes between three types of perfectionism: (i). self-oriented perfectionism (ii). Other-oriented perfectionism, and (iii). Socially prescribed perfectionism. Self-oriented perfectionism includes internal beliefs of a person that effort for perfection and to be perfectionist is important and it is characteristic that perfectionist has perfectionistic motivation for himself.

On the other hand, another type of perfectionism refers to the individual who belief that other has very extreme standards for himself and if he does not upto those standards he does not meet that standards. Socially prescribed perfectionism includes beliefs that others have extremely high standards for one self and that acceptance by others is restricted on satisfying these standards (Enns & Cox, 2002; Hewitt & Flett, 1991). In last, other-oriented perfectionism involves beliefs that it are important for others to meet an individual’s exceptionally high standards for performance and it is characteristic in which the concerned individual tries to impose his own standards of perfectionism onto others.

Self-oriented perfectionism ad been considered as undecided form of perfectionism ( Enns & Cox, 2002). However, a sufficient literature suggested that self-oriented and socially-prescribed perfectionism are maladaptive form of perfectionism that have relationship with negative characteristics, courses and consequences (Stoeber, Feast & Hayward, 2009).

Subsequently, while investigating perfectionism, it is important to discriminate between two major dimensions of perfectionism (Frost, Heimberg, Holt, Mattia, & Neubauer, 1993; Stoeber & Otto, 2006). There is the positive aspect of perfectionistic striving that shows high standards for performance of a perfectionist. This aspect has also been elaborated as normal, healthy, or adaptive perfectionism. This aspect is characterized by having high level of one’s standards for himself as well as others, persistence in the form of difficulty, and carefulness. Healthy perfectionism frequently goes side by side to the purposeful and goal directed behavior and good directorial services (Bieling, Israeli, & Antony, 2004).

On the other side, there negative aspect of perfectionism concerns with expressing negative attitudes towards faults and blunders, strict self-criticism, and feelings of inconsistency between achievement and predictions of perfectionists. This dimension has also been explain as neurotic, unhealthy, or maladaptive perfectionism (Rice, Ashby, & Slaney, 1998; Stumpf & Parker, 2000). Individual with this aspect of perfectionism is extremely preoccupied with past faults, and doubts about making new mistakes, fears about either he is doing his work correctly or not and being highlydevoted in the great anticipations of others, like parents, siblings or other workers. Hallmark feature of this maladaptive or unhealthy perfectionism is an individual’s extremely preoccupation with control (Bieling, Israeli, & Antony, 2004).

Slaney, Rice, Mobley, Trippi, and Ashby (2001) gave multidimensional perfectionism in another three terms. According to them, perfectionism is can also be measured in terms of these three factors: (i). Standards (ii). Discrepancy (iii). Order. The first factor standards measure an individual’s high personal standards and his expectations from his performance. Discrepancy measures the insight that one cannot meet the high standards that he has been targeted for himself (Slaney, Rice, Mobley, Trippi, and Ashby, 2001) and order is used to measures inclinations for organizing and ordering one’s work in daily life (Slaney, Rice, Mobley, Trippi, and Ashby, 2001).

The second important and major factor that plays large role on child’s performance and persistence is Attributional styles.

1.3 Attributional Styles

Attributional style refers to explanation of the people about the causes of their own performances. It can be defined as the fundamental descriptions that an individual provide to various intrapersonal and interpersonal actions in their lives (Bell-Dolan & Anderson, 1999).

Attributional styles are those explanatory styles in which people describe the causes of various events that happened in their lives in specific way. Attributions can be described as the explanations of the people what they hold about the past, present, and future behavior of others or themselves. These explanations are consequent from believes, attitudes and values of persons as well as the information which is provided at given point and time (Young & Marks, 1986). Heider (1958) was the first individual who gave this idea. Initially, attributions were considered as responsibility for the causality of problem (Cohn, 1983). Major models of attributions anticipated and examined in the literature (e.g., Abramson, Seligman, & Teasdale, 1978; Hill & Larson, 1992; Rotter, 1966; Seligman, 1974; Sweeney, Anderson, & Bailey, 1986; Weiner, 1988) which concentrate entirely on responsibility for cause of the problem, precisely the description of various causal attributions and their effects.

Causal attributions are descriptions of a person that he makes about events to better control and predict future similar events (Heider, 1958; Weiner, 1979). According to attributional theory of motivation and emotion by Weiner’s (1985, 1992) lead stress that causal attributions are inclined by consequences and these can effect on future behaviors of individuals , because they affect the choice, intensity, and persistence of behaviors.

Biddle & Hanrahan, 1998; McAuley, Duncan, & Russell, 1992; Weiner, 1992 describe four dimensions of causal attributional: (a) locus of causality, (b) personal controllability, (c) external controllability, and (d) stability. (i). Locus of causality is related to whether the cause is perceived as within or is external to the other person (internal vs. external). (ii), Personal controllability is a dimension of attribution in which causes of events are controllable by individual himself or it is beyond the control of that particular individual (controllable vs. uncontrollable). (iii). External controllability is an attributional dimension in which causes of an events are considered to be either within or beyond anyone’s control (other than that particular individual) (controllable vs. uncontrollable). (iv). Stability is a dimension which is  related to the perceived temporal duration of the cause (stable vs. unstable) .

1.3.1. Types of Attributions.

According to Hartman (n.d), There are three main types of attributions, the first being is explanatory attribution, the second type is predictive attributions and the third type is interpersonal attributions. (i). Explanatory attribution:  Individuals attempt to make sense of the world and look for explanations to help understand why a particular event has happened. (ii). Predictive attribution is used when an individual attempts to understand why an event happened, but also wants to be able to make it happen again or prevent it from happening. (iii). Interpersonal attribution, usually happens between two or more people. It involves an individual presenting himself in a positive light when explaining something or representing himself to others.

1.3.2. Theories of Attribution.

Attribution theory deals with how the people use information to reach at causal description of an event.  It scrutinizes what type of information is gathered and how it is combined to form a causal judgment (Fiske & Taylor, 1991).

Attribution theory explains how individuals analyze events and how this interpretation is related to their thinking and behavior. Attribution theory anticipates that people tried to decide why and what they do. An individual tried to seek and understand why the other person did something and may attribute one or more causes to that behavior. Heider (1958) explained that an individual has two types of variation. (i). Internal attribution is defined as in which an individual interprets that a person is behaving in a certain way because of something about the person, such as attitude, character or personality. (ii). External attribution is defined as the interpretation that a person behaves in such a way because of the situation and environment he or she is present in.

Heider (1958) also explained that attributions of individuals are incomparably aroused by our emotional and motivational drives. Self-serving attributions includes blaming other one’s and avoiding personal complaints. Individual attribute to defend the attack likes situations. They consider injustice in an unfair world. This theory describes the approach of high achievers rather than succeeding of avoid tasks it is because they have firm belief that only high ability and effort of confidence is responsible for success. They take failure is only caused by bad luck or a poor exam and is not their fault. This attribution does not affect their self-esteem if failure occurs. But if the individual succeed, it develops feelings of superiority and confidence. On the other side, low achievers escape tasks related to success they incline to (a) they have doubt on their ability and (b) anticipate that success is related to luck or other factors which they cannot be control. So, even when they succeed, they do not feel good and this success is not rewarding to the low achiever because they do feel responsible, and this success does not seemed to be increased their feelings of superiority and confidence (Heider, 1958).

1.3.2.1. Correspondent Inference Theory

Jones and Davis (1965) explained that people attentive to planned and intentional  behavior. This theory is helpful in understanding the course of making an internal attribution.  According to this theory people say that they tend to do this when they observe link between motive and behavior. Internal attributions grant us with evidence from which It  possible to make predictions made about the future behavior of a person. The correspondent inference theory explains terms and conditions in which dispositional or internal attributions of  behavior perceived as intentional.

Is Authors of this theory, Jones and Davis (1965) used this word of correspondent inference to refer to an event when an observer interpret that a behavior of a person links or corresponds with their personality.

It is another term to dispositional attribution. Jones and Davis (1965) describe that there are 5 sources of information which leads to the correspondent inference. (i). Choice: If a behavior is openly chosen, it is considered to be due to internal (dispositional) factor. (ii). Accidental vs. Intentional behavior: behavior that is planned is likely to attribute to the personality of the person and behavior which is unintentional is likely to be attribute to situation , environmental or external causes. (iii). Social Desirability: Low or poor behaviors of sociably desirability (not conforming) lead us to make internal or dispositional inferences more than socially undesirable behaviors. (iv). Non-common effects: If the result of another individual’s behavior is important for us.(v). Hedonistic Relevance: it is the behavior of another person that seems to be directly planned to benefit or harm us,  and it is assumed that this behavior is personal or it is not by any external factor like environment in which both individuals are present in.

1.3.2.2. Kelley’s Covariation Model

Co-variation model by Kelley’s (1967) is well known attribution theory.  It was developed on a rational model that either that action of the individual is attributed to some characteristic of the individual i.e. internal or the environment in which he or she is present i.e. external. The word co-variation simply is used in this theory to show that information of person is based on many observations, in different times and conditions, and this information can be took as the covariation of an observed effect and its causes. According to the author, individual works like a scientist in trying to discover the causes of that particular behavior. Particularly they consider three kinds of evidence.

According to Kelley (1967), our judgments are affected by three types of casual information (i). Consensus: It is the degree of the other people’s behavior in which they behave in the same direction in a similar situation. (ii). Distinctiveness: It is the degree of the person’s own behavior in which he or she behaves in the same direction in similar situations. (iii). Consistency:  It is degree in which the person behavior is like this every time the situation or condition occurs.

1.3.2.3. Weiner’s Model of Achievement Attributions

Weiner (1935) suggested very comprehensive and extensive model of human attributions. It is very important model as it is based on learning of students in school settings. Weiner highlighted the pathway through which learner develops causal beliefs.  This model anticipates that both environmental factors like characteristics of student’s home or school learners and personal factors like prior experiences and prior knowledge affect the learner. If any event related to achievement happens (e.g., a student fails an examination), and when outcome was also unexpected, learners undertook an attributional search and tried to understand what happened. The observed causes of an event is important regardless of any unbiased explanation because whatever learners observed as the cause of that event will effect the performance of that individual if he is doing the same chores as before. One key point of the explanation of this theory that is some precise attributions like luck and effort are not more important as compare to some key characteristics of attributions that are locus, stability controllability. These key characteristics of attribution can change the successive motivation of the learner towards his target. The locus characteristic refers to perception or observation of the event that either it is inter or external. The stability characteristic refers to either the cause is stable or unstable with reference to time and condition. The controllability characteristic refers to either the cause of the event is observed as it can be control by the individual or not.

This theory is concise in three points. Firstly, Stages of attributions process through (a). behavior is observed, (2) behavior is determined to be thoughtful and (3) internal or external attributions are made for this behavior. Secondly, Achievement is attributed to (1) effort, (2) ability, (3) degree of difficulty in particular task or (4) luck.Thirdly, important characteristics of causal of behavior are (1) locus of control, (2) stability, and (3) controllability(Weiner, 1985).

Brickman, Rabinowitz, Karuza, Cohn, & Kidder (1982) described that although the above mentioned attributional models had important results but explained the attributions in a confused manner. They thought these models were less applicable and important to the help-seeking and help provision process. Thus, Brickman et al. described attributions into responsibility for problem cause and responsibility for problem solution. Authors argued that attributions for problem cause and solution are different, and the failure to account for their distinctiveness can lead to wrong results while the above mentioned models, on the took attributions as implicitly including both causation and solution.

Brickman, Rabinowitz, Karuza, Cohn, & Kidder (1982)developed a two-dimensional structure model based on Weiner’s model of achievement, in which one factor is based on responsibility for problem cause and the other factor is based on problem solution. According to this model these both dimensions have variation in terms of degree of self-responsibility, that is, high versus low.

Self-efficacy belief is also an important factor that plays an important role in enhacing the child’s academic performance.

1.5 Self-efficacy

Self-efficacy refers to the view about one’s abilities and competences to learn or perform behaviors at designated levels (Bandura, 1986, 1997), and it controls an individual’s thoughts, feelings and actions. In other words, individual’s ways to behave are vastly influenced by the beliefs that individuals hold about their abilities and outcome of their efforts. For that reason, it is not surprising that many researches show that self-efficacy impacts on academic achievement, learning and academic achievement motivation (Pajares, 1996; Schunk, 1995).

Such self-system enables an individual to influences his subsequent performance and also provides the capacity to alter his environment. Therefore, the basic element in experiencing control and personal efficacy is the beliefs of a person about himself and his abilities to apply effort and achieve a goal. This belief affects behavior in two ways; either the individual he put on efforts in the tasks he is confident and feels that he is competent for it and able to do that or avoid the tasks that he feels contrary from it. Self-efficacy helps to determine how much effort, determination and flexibility or resilience being put by the person on a task. In other words, the higher the sense of efficacy, greater the effort, persistence and resilience will be. Efficacy beliefs also cause emotional reactions. For example, individuals with low self-efficacy believe that a task is tough for them and therefore build stress, depression and a narrow vision on how to solve problems. On the other hand, those with high self-efficacy stay more relax in solving difficult tasks because they believe in themselves that they can achieve the goal. Therefore, these influences are strong determining factor s of the individual’s level of achievement. Many studies have been carried out on this concept of self-efficacy in the academic settings (Mahyuddin, Elias, Cheong, Muhamad,  Noordin,  & Abdullah, 2006).

The concept of Self-efficacy is explained in the theoretical framework of social cognitive theory by Bandura (1986, 1997) which stated interactions between one’s behaviors, personal factors and environmental conditions leads towards human achievement. Early experiences at home largely influence an individual’s behavior. Curiosity of the individual is motivated by home environment that helps in development of self-efficacy. This stimulation and motivation increasesthe cognitive and affective structures of the individual like his sympathies ability, learning through others, changing the strategies of plans and regulation of his own behavior and engagement in self-reflection (self-efficacy).

Educators have acknowledged that students’ motivation to achieve is stimulated by their beliefs about their academic capabilities, but primarily this was proved difficult to measure self-conceptions regarding academic performance in a scientifically valid way. The role of environmental influences such as specific features of performance contexts or areas of academic functioning gain a little attention while Initial efforts were put in to study students’ self-beliefs. In the late 1970s, a number of researchers specifically began to determine self-beliefs, and one of the most important of these efforts focused on self-efficacy (As cited in Zimmerman, 2000).

Bandura (1977, 1997) formally defined perceived self-efficacy as one’s personal apprehensions of his capabilities and competencies to organize and perform such action that lead him to attain designated goals. Bandura tried to assess its level, generalization, and strength across different activities and contexts. The concept of level of self-efficacy refers to its reliance on the difficulty of a specific or certain task, such as spelling words of increasing difficulty; generality pertains to the transfer ability and alteration of self-efficacy beliefs across activities, such as from statistics to algebra; strength of perceived efficacy is measured by the extent of one’s confidence about performing a given task. These characteristics of self-efficacy judgments are measured by using questionnaire items that are task specific, vary in difficulty level, and acquire degrees of confidence for example from 0 to 100%.

With regard to their content, self-efficacy measures concentrate on performance capabilities rather than on personal qualities of the individual, such as one’s physical or psychological characteristics. Respondents judge their capabilities and competences to fulfill a specific given task demands, such as solving problems in arithmetic test. Self-efficacy beliefs are not a single disposition but relatively they are multidimensional in their form and differ on the basis of the functioning area. For example, efficacy beliefs about accomplishment on a history test may vary from beliefs about a biology examination. As a final point, self-efficacy conclusions specifically refer to future functioning and are assessed before a student perform in a relevant activity. This self-efficacy judgment plays a causal role in academic motivation (Zimmerman, 2000).

Self-efficacy beliefs have also shown convergent validity in influencing such key indices of academic motivation as choice of activities, level of determination, persistence, and emotional responses. There are evidence (Bandura, 1997) that students with high level of self-efficacy contribute more willingly, enthusiastically, work harder, persist longer, and have lesser hostile emotional reactions when they have to face difficulties rather than those who doubt their skills and capabilities.

It was found that when there is a choice of activities; self-efficacious students accept difficult and challenging tasks and responsibilities more gladly than do inefficacious students. Zimmerman and Kitsantas (1997; 1999) also found that self-efficacy is highly correlated with students’ rated fundamental interest in a motoric learning task as well as in a writing revision assignment. Moreover, students’ choice of majors in college, success in course work, and perseverance significantly correlated with the measures of self-efficacy (Hackett & Betz, 1989; Lent, Brown, & Larkin, 1984).

Self-efficacy beliefs predict two measures of students’ effort, one is the rate of his performance and the second one is the investment of energy. Salomon (1984) has found that during students’ learning from written material that was perceived as difficult for him, the self-efficacy is positively related to self-rated mental effort and achievement. Concerning the perceived self-efficacy’s effects on persistence, a path analyses showed that students’ skill influenced by it both directly and indirectly by increasing their persistence (Schunk, 1981). The direct effect indicates that perceived self-efficacy influences students’ methods of learning as well as their motivational processes. These results validate the mediational role that self-efficacy plays in motivating persistence and academic achievement. In a meta-analytic review of nearly 70 studies of persistence and rate measures of motivation, Multon, Brown, and Lent (1991) found a significant positive effect size of students’ self-efficacy beliefs. Student’s beliefs about their efficacy to manage academic task demands can also influence them emotionally by decreasing their stress, anxiety, and depression (Bandura, 1997).

Self-efficacy beliefs also provide students with a sense of agency to motivate their learning through use of such self-regulatory processes as goal setting, self-monitoring, self-evaluation, and strategy use. For example, there is evidence (Zimmerman, Bandura, & Martinez-Pons, 1992) that the more capable students judge themselves to be, the more challenging the goals they embrace. When self-efficacy and personal goal setting from the beginning of a school term were used jointly to predict final course grades in high school social studies, they increased prediction by 31% over a measure of prior grades in social studies.  The effect of efficacy beliefs on students’ self-monitoring was studied during concept learning (Bouffard-Bouchard, Parent, & Larivee, 1991). Efficacious students were better at monitoring their working time, more persistent, less likely to reject correct hypotheses prematurely, and better at solving conceptual problems than inefficacious students of equal ability. Self-efficacy beliefs also affect the self-evaluation standards, students use to judge the outcomes of their self-monitoring. In a path analytic study (Zimmerman & Bandura, 1994), self-efficacy for writing beliefs significantly predicted college students’ personal standards for the quality of writing considered self-satisfying as well as their goal setting and writing proficiency. Self-efficacy beliefs also motivate students’ use of learning strategies. With fifth, eighth, and eleventh grade students, there were developmental increases in perceived verbal and mathematical efficacy as well as strategy use, and there was a substantial relation (16 to 18% shared variance) between efficacy beliefs and strategy use across the three grade levels of schooling (Zimmerman & Martinez-Pons, 1990).

Additionally, feedback in short run as well as in form of academic achievement in the long run contribute vital role in child’s performance in future.

Feedback and Academic Achievement

Feedback has a fundamental importance in chasing directed goals. It, at least temporarily enables an individual to regulate his efforts and decide which goals to follow and which to let go. Thus, feedback affects persistence, disengagement, and change towards a goal. In a medical state checkup, receiving feedback on one‘s current physical condition can influence one‘s chase of health goals and receiving feedback from close ones may also influence a person’s attention towards a friend or a spouse. Sometimes, people are more likely to pay attention to any of these goals after getting positive feedback than after receiving negative feedback, while at other times negative feedback have a better effect. Students often receive feedback on academic activities or lack of activities for example when getting on the dean‘s list versus failing to do so, strong vs. feeble academic areas, and correct versus incorrect answers of exam. As a result of these various types of positive and negative feedback, habitually the same level of positive or negative objective achievement can be obtained (Fishbach& Finkelstein, 2012).

Feedback is a procedure in which previous or present information influences the same phenomenon in the existing or upcoming condition. As part of a chain of cause-and-effect that forms a circuit or loop, the event is said to “feed-back” into itself.

Feedback realizes a student that somebody cares enough to read his work and to think about it and most of the time this is done by the teachers. In feedback descriptions and suggestions are given to the students on a particular work of them. It is just-in-time, just-for-me information delivered when and where it can do the most good (Brookhart, 2008).

Ramaprasad (1983) explained feedback as the information about the difference between the actual level and the reference level of a parameter t is that is used to change the gap in some way, and lead stress on this point that the feedback is itself not any information unless it is translated into action.

According to Ramaprasad (1983), feedback is generally separated into two types – commonly termed as positive and negative. The terms can be useful in two settings: (i). the context of the gap between reference and actual values of a parameter, based on whether the gap is widening (positive) or narrowing (negative). (ii). the context of the action or effect that alters the gap, based on whether it involves reward (positive) or non-reward/punishment (negative). The two contexts may cause confusion, such as when an incentive (reward) is used to boost poor performance (narrow a gap). Feedback can be called either positive or negative, depending on how values are measured or referenced (Levine, &Fitzgerald, 1992). This confusion may arise because feedback can be used for either informational or motivational purposes, and often has both a qualitative and a quantitative component. Connellan and Zemke (1993) further introduced two terms, quantitative and qualitative feedback. They defined that quantitative feedback tells us about how much and how many whereas qualitative feedback tells us how bad and good or indifferent the work is. According to Black (1934), positive feed-back increases the possibility of improvement whereas negative feed-back reduced down its likelihood.

Many theories elaborate the effects of feedback on goal persistence that when individual receive positive rather than negative feedback, it have an effect on their performance. These theories identify diverse self-regulatory processes in which feedback influences motivation of a performance. By discovering different cases for positive versus negative feedback as a motivational force for goal chase, it was identified that there are the different self-regulatory processes and the role of feedback in each of them.

According to classic psychological theories of motivation, goal persistence is a function of the goal’s value × expectancy of attainment. Feedback can increase motivation by raising fulfillment expectancies as well as the perception that the goal is valuable (Atkinson, 1957; Feather, 1982; Fishbein & Ajzen, 1974). After attitude researches, researchers discussed that feedback on successful actions boosts up individuals to invest more resources in chase of other similar activities. A significant finding in that literature is that people wish to be stable and express consistent preferences over time (Bem, 1972; Cialdini, Trost, & Newsom, 1995; Festinger, 1957). When an individual successfully carried out an action, the likelihood of selecting similar action on the next occasion increases (Freedman & Fraser, 1966). People learn about their stable preferences from watching themselves act in a particular way is the reason for the effect of feedback, this theory is known as self-perception theory (Bem, 1972). Goal research has similar point of view which suggested that positive feedback increases goal persistence by increasing outcome expectancies and thus, commitment to a goal. According to  Bandura’s self-efficacy theory (1991) positive feedback increases sense of self-efficacy in individuals, It realizes them that they are capable and competent in following a goal therefore, they feel good that their efforts will pay off.  Specially, mastery experiences are an actual way of evolving a strong sense of self-efficacy. In comparison, sense of self-efficacy of a person weakens due to the failure or a negative feedback. Different researches on academic performance elaborated these influences and it was found that after controlling some other variables, including previous academic performance and other people‘s expectations,  students’ academic performance is predicted by sense of self-efficacy, which is mainly determined by their successful academic experiences (Bandura, Barbaranelli, Gian , & Concetta, 2001).

Where positive feedback is valuable and beneficial, negative feedback is often destructive and more precisely, through negative feedback, motivation can be weaken by lowering the expectancy of success. Evidence for this impact comes from research on the what-the-hell effect: when fail to chase a goal, individuals concluded from it that they were at least temporarily but are less able to succeed on the goal and, therefore, they disengaged to follow that goal (Cochran & Tesser, 1996; Soman & Cheema, 2004).

To sum up, in the light of above theoretical back ground it is concluded that there are many factors that play dynamic role in performance of children. Their IQ level is also very important but there are many internal and external factors that play their role along their IQ level and enhance their ability to perform well.  It is concluded that perfectionism level of children, their attributional styles, their belief and confidence about their performance have great impact on their academic career. Along these factors feedback in short run that is given right after their performance as well as feedback in terms of academic achievement in long run that is given after the completion of whole year study also largely impact on future performance of the children.

Chapter II

Literature Review

This part of the research contains numerous researches taken from the west that would be helpful in understanding the topic from different cultural perspectives.

2.1 Persistence

Rozek (2005) conducted study to examine the effects of feedback and attributional style on Task Persistence. Perfectionism level and attribution were also checked as predictive of task persistence. Effect of positive, negative and none feedback condition was also assessed. Results showed that perfectionism level did not predict task persistence, among attributional styles, only internal problem cause attribution styles predict task persistence, and effects of feedback were not significant. Additionally, there were no significant gender differences between conditions.

Heine, Kitayama, Lehman, Takata, Ide, & Leung, (2001) conducted study on responses after comments of success and failure on older America and Japanese sample. Findings show that Japanese subjects were persisting longer (in post-failure conditions), it was only because they perceived themselves as the cause of their problem.This was speculated to be because they were more likely to view themselves as the cause of the problem. Americans were seemed to believe that external factors were the cause of failure.

Robert, Vallerand, Blssonnette (2006) examined the role of intrinsic, extrinsic, and a motivational styles as predictors of behavioral persistence in a real-life setting. At the beginning of the academic year  first-term junior-college students enrolled in a compulsory college course completed a scale assessing intrinsic motivation, four styles of extrinsic motivation (namely, external regulation, introjection, identification, and integration), and a motivation toward academic activities. At the end of the semester, individuals who had dropped out of the course and those who had persisted were identified. Results showed that individuals who persisted in the course had reported that the beginning of the semester was more intrinsically motivated and more identified and integrated, and less a motivated toward academic activities than students who dropped out of the course.

Miller and Hom (1990) examined the hypotheses that extrinsic rewards avert attention from ego threat, enhancing persistence after failure, performance impairment after failure is greater when tasks have high ego value; and extrinsic rewards reduce ego concern and thereby enhance continuing motivation on high ego-involving tasks, but undermine continuing motivation on other tasks. Students gave up more frequently after failure except when they received rewards or were told the anagram task was very difficult. The extrinsic rewards reduced continuing motivation in the low ego-value condition and enhanced it in the high ego-value condition. Findings suggest that extrinsic incentives reduced ego involvement and threat, thereby minimizing performance impairment and increasing continuing motivation after failure on ego-relevant tasks. More generally, it is argued that exogenous incentives may be used to negate maladaptive motivational states.

Pascarella, Smart, and Ethington (1986) showed a theoretical model which was used explain the long-term persistence of students who began their post secondary education in two-year institutions. The results confirmed the importance of person-environment fit as a noticeable influence on degree of persistence and completion in post secondary education. Measures of academic and social integration had the most consistent pattern of positive direct effects, and much of the influence of student precollege traits was indirect.

Gloria and Ho (2003) conducted a study to provide a composite of student experiences; to investigate the interrelationships of comfort in the university environment, social support, and self-beliefs; and to examine the influence of these constructs on the academic persistence decisions of Asian American undergraduates.  Environmental, social and psychological experiences  A total of 160 Asian Americans completed a series of standardized instruments assessing their environmental, social, and psychological experiences as undergraduates. Overall, social support variables were the strongest predictors of academic persistence.

Lee, Tek, Hashim & Meng (2011) examines the relationship between persistence, academic engagement, and academic performance among post graduate students in an Open and Distance Learning Institution. Among the significant predictors of academic performance are classroom and cognitive emphasis (components of engagement), and academic integration, service satisfaction, academic conscientiousness and degree commitment (components of persistence) were included . Students with favorable ratings on their academic engagement and persistence in studies tend to do better academically. The statistical model highly predicted these relationships. Using student engagement and persistence as predictors of academic achievement would enable the academic institutions to identify at risk students much earlier compared to using CGPA.

2.2 Perfectionism

Stoeber & Rambow (2006) conducted research to explore the relationship of Perfectionism with motivation, achievement, and well-being in adolescent school students. It was investigated  how perfectionism in adolescent school students relates to motivation, achievement, and well-being, by examining two aspects of perfectionism at school (striving for perfection, negative reactions to imperfection) and perceived parental pressure to be perfect, motivation, school achievement, and well-being. Results showed that negative reactions to imperfection were related to fear of failure, somatic complaints, and depressive symptoms. It was also found that perceived parental pressure was related to somatic complaints. On the other hand, striving for being perfectionist was related to hope of success, motivation for school, and school achievement. Striving of perfectionism was found to be  negatively related with depressive symptoms and it is associated with positive characteristics and adaptive outcomes and may form part of a healthy pursuit of excellence.

Molnar, Reker, Culp, Sadava, &  DeCourville (2006) explored an objective to test a structural model in which positive and negative affect mediate the relationship between perfectionism and physical health. It was found that structural model in which self-oriented perfectionism was linked with better physical health.  High positive affect and low negatives were found as the mediators of this relationship. On the contrary, socially prescribed perfectionism was related with poorer physical health and it was found that low positive affect and high negative affect as a partial mediators of this relationship.

Witcher, Alexander, Onwuegbuzie, Collins, & Witcher (2007) investigated the relationship between three dimensions of perfectionism (i.e., self-oriented perfectionism, other-oriented perfectionism, and socially prescribed perfectionism) and achievement in a graduate-level research methodology course. Findings highlighted that graduate students with relatively high levels of self-oriented perfectionism and other-oriented perfectionism have the highest levels of class achievement. It was suggested that self-oriented perfectionism was the best predictor of performance.

Cnore (2010) examines the nature of the relationship between perfectionism and suicidality. Twenty nine papers of perfectionism and suicidality were found. it was suggested that self-critical evaluative concerns perfectionism (i.e., socially prescribed perfectionism, self-criticism, concern about mistakes, and doubts about action) has a strong relationship with suicidality.

Ofoghi&Besharat (2010) examined the relationship between perfectionism and medical ill-health in a sample of general population. Results showed that self-oriented and socially prescribed perfectionism were indirectly linked with health indices. Other-oriented perfectionism showed negative relationship only with number of medical visits. It was also concluded that through reinforcement of personal motivation, and provocation of mental and physical abilities; self-oriented perfectionism would help in improvement of physical health indices. Findings also suggested that socially prescribed perfectionism would negatively influence physical health indices through imposing high expectations by others.

2.3 Attributional styles

Sanjun, Perez, Rueda, & Ruiz (2008)conducted a research to analyze the relationships between attributional styles for positive and negative situations and positive and negative affect. The results showed that people with negative attributional style (NAS) or explained negative situations through internal, stable, and global causes showed higher negative affect and lower positive affect. Moreover, the enhancing attributional style or tendency to explain positive situations by internal, stable, and global causes was associated with the report of positive affect. It is concluded that negative Attributional style has a link with psychological distress and suggested that direction of attributional style for positive situations might play an important role in the distress or well-being of individuals.

Foll, Rascle, & Higgins, (2006) examined persistence in a putting task during perceived

failure: influence of state-attributions and attributional style. The aim of their was to investigate the influence of state-attributions and attributional style(AS) on short-term persistence in a putting task during perceived failure. Analyses revealed that attributional style influenced short-term putting persistence but state attributions did not. Participants with a “high personal control” AS showed greater persistence than those with a “low personal control” AS, which supports past research on the positive motivational benefits of a more “optimistic” Attributional style in task failure situations. Moreover, unstable attributions were particularly protective for individuals with an external/uncontrollable AS, in that they promoted significantly higher levels of persistence than was shown by external/uncontrollable AS individuals who made stable causal attributions.

2.4 Self-efficacy

Studies have shown that self-efficacy, aspirational, and other psycho-social influences account for considerable variance in academic achievement through a range of mediational pathways, although no research to date has tested the mediational relationships identified. Carroll, Houghton, Woods, Unsworth, Hattie, Gordon, & Bower, (2009) investigated the structural relations among self-efficacy, academic aspirations, and delinquency, on the academic achievement of  students aged 11–18 years from ten schools in two Australian cities. Results show that academic and self-regulatory efficacy had an indirect negative effect through delinquency and a direct positive effect on academic achievement. Academic and social self-efficacy had positive and negative relationships, respectively, with academic aspiration and academic achievement; however, the relationship between academic aspiration and academic achievement was not significant.

Holder (2007) found that self-efficacy is one of the criteria that distinguish the persistent student who completes his online task from one who will not complete in the given time. Self-efficacy for learning and performance is directly related with higher confidence of the student to complete his task successfully complete a course as well as a higher expectation to do well (Holder, 2007). Bunn (2003) supports this premise, suggesting that personal resolve and determination to succeed strongly contributes to persistence. Parker (2001) views an internal locus of control and self-motivation as significant factors in student persistence.

Motlagh, Amrai, Yazdani, Abderahim, & Souri (2011) aimed to investigate the relation between self-efficacy and academic achievement in high school students.Results of the study revealed that self-evaluation, self-direction and self-regulation are correlated with academic achievement. According to the results, self-efficacy was proved as a considerable factor in academic achievement.

2.5 Feedback

Franz,Frick, & Hanslits. (2009) conducted research on gender differences in response to failure feedback.This study examined how failure feedback would affect males and females differently. It was found that there was a difference of gender such that women on average scored lower than men on the second test. However, women and men were not affected differently by passing or failing feedback.

Previous research on the effects of feedback on performance has found a gender difference. This research suggests that women tend to take the feedback they receive as a reflection of how others see them, while men do not let one negative score or judgment affect their overall abilities and future performances (Roberts, 1991).

McCarty (1986) found that women generally have lower self-confidence than men in achievement situations. Findings of his study suggested that men and women showed the same pattern and behavior when receiving feedback. The people who received positive feedback lead towards higher expectations from themselves, while those who received negative feedback or no feedback at all lowered their expectations. The problem becomes that women never had the same level of self-confidence as men; therefore, even when receiving positive feedback, women expected less of themselves than men did.

Rational

Persistence is an aspect of self-regulation, cognition, and behavior (Deckard, Petrill, Thompson, & DeThorne, 2005). It seems to have significant influence on child competence, from self-regulation to cognitive performance (McCartney & Berry, 2005). The primary purpose of this study is to examine factors related to persistence in school children. This study also seeks to gain an understanding of the factors that may influence the association between persistence for short term as well as long term goals. These factors include attributional styles, self -efficacy, feedback and perfectionism. There are considerable individual differences in the way people approach the task. It is thought that children who persist at their work are likely to learn more and perform better in schools than those children who do not persist (Karnes, Johnson, Cohen & Shwedel, 1985).  This study will examine the correlates of task persistence for short term and long term goals. Many students are intelligent but they cannot do their best in their exams and class test, only because they cannot sustain on a single problem or question which is unsolvable temporarily and they lose many marks only because of those problems even after having best IQ level. This will help us to increase our understanding of the complexities that why do not child persist to complete their work. Results of current study will provide guidance in the designing the suggestions to children to persist on their work to have a successful academic career. It will be proved more beneficial for those students who do not persist even after having best IQ level to enhance their skills as well as their stamina to sustain on a problem to solve the whole test or exam.

Chapter III

Study I

3.1 Objective

Study I was conducted to assess the relationship of dimensions of Perfectionism (standard, order, discrepancy), attributional styles (internal Problem cause, internal problem solution, external Problem cause, external problem solution) and self-efficacy with persistence for long term goals of school children. It was correlational study. All variables were measured through questionnaires.

3.2 Hypotheses

H 1: Dimensions of perfectionism (standard, order, and discrepancy), attributional style (internal problem cause, internal problem solution, external problem cause, and external problem solution), self-efficacy and persistence for long term goals (consistency of interest, perseverance of effort)are likely to be higher in boys as compared to girls.

H 2: There is likely to be positive relationship of the dimensions of perfectionism (standard, and order with persistence for long term goals (consistency of interest and perseverance of effort).

H 3: There is likely to be negative relationship of discrepancy (dimension of perfectionism) with persistence for long term goals (consistency of interest, perseverance of effort).

H 4: There is likely to be positive relationship of internal problem cause and internal problem solution attributional styles with persistence for long term goals (consistency of interest, perseverance of effort).

H 5: There is likely to be negative relationship of external problem cause and external problem solution attributional styles with persistence for long term goals (consistency of interest, perseverance of effort).

H 6: Standard and order (dimensions of perfectionism) are likely to positively predict consistency of interest.

H 7: Standard and order (dimensions of perfectionism) are likely to positively predict perseverance of effort).

H 8: Discrepancy (dimensions of perfectionism) is likely to negatively predict consistency of interest.

H 9: Discrepancy (dimensions of perfectionism) is likely to negatively predict perseverance of effort.

H 10: Internal problem cause and internal problem solution attributional styles are likely to positively predict consistency of interest.

H 11: Internal problem cause and internal problem solution attributional styles are likely to positively predict perseverance of effort.

H 12: External problem cause and external problem solution attributional styles are likely to negatively predict consistency of interest.

H 13: External problem cause and external problem solution attributional styles are likely to negatively predict perseverance of effort.

H 14: Self-efficacy is likely to positively predict persistence for long term goals (consistency of interest.

H 15: Self-efficacy is likely to positively predict perseverance of effort.

H 16: Gender is likely to moderate the relationship between dimensions of perfectionism (standard, order, and discrepancy), attributional style (internal problem cause, internal problem solution, external problem cause, and external problem solution), self-efficacy and consistency of interest.

H 17: Gender is likely to moderate the relationship between dimensions of perfectionism (standard, order, and discrepancy), attributional style (internal problem cause, internal problem solution, external problem cause, and external problem solution), self-efficacy and perseverance of effort.

3.3 Method

3.3.1 Research Design.

Within group research design was used to assess relationship between persistence for long term goals, academic achievement perfectionism level, attributional styles and self-efficacy of school children.

3.3.2 Sample.

The sample (N=200) was comprised of 200 students, 100 male students (n=50 from 9th class and n=50 from 10th class), 100 female students (n=50 from 9th class and n=50 from 10th class).

3.3.2.1 Inclusion criteria.

  • Students of only 9th and 10th class were included
  • Only students of government school were included

3.3.2.2 Exclusion criteria.

  • Students with any physical disability were excluded

Table 1

Demographic Characteristics of the Sample (N=200)

VariablesBoys

(n=102)

Girls

(n=96)

 M (SD)f (%)M (S.D)f (%)
Age15.08(1.39)14.14(0.87)
Class
9th class54(52.9)47(47.0)
10th class48((47.1)48(48.0)
Subjects
Science101(99.0)96(100)
Arts
Father Education
Primary11(10.78)6(6.25)
Middle7(6.9)8(8.3)
Matric32(31.4)2(2.1)
F.A17(16.7)12(12.5)
B.A14(13.7)38(39.6)
Masters10(9.8)18(18.8)
Mphil1(1.0)3(3.1)
Phd1(1.0)4(4.2)
Mother Education
Table 1 (Continued)
Primary13(1.7)7(7.29)
Middle12(11.8)14(14.6)
Matric34(33.3)
F.A17(16.7)23(24.0)
B.A12(11.8)30(31.3)
Masters8(7.8)15(15.6)
Mphil1(1.0)
Phd1(1.0)
Father occupation 
Govt.13(13.5)13(13.5)
Private3(2.9)15(15.6)
Business15(14.7)23(24.0)
Teacher3(2.9)4(4.2)
Doctor1(1.0)1(1.0)
Engineer2(2.0)4(4.2)
Retired2(2.1)
Other65(63.73)33(34.4)
Mother’s Occupation
House wife93(91.7)72(75)
Teacher7(7.2)
Banker2(2.1)
Tailor3(2.94)
Table 1 (Continued)
Nurse1(1.0)2(2.1)
Other5(4.90)13(13.54)

3.3.3 Assessment Measures.

Following tools were used for the purpose of collecting data.

3.3.3.1 Demographic questionnaire.

Self-developed demographic questionnaire was used in which name, gender, age, class,profession and education of father and mother, subject which they study science or arts were asked.

3.3.3.2 The Almost Perfect Scale.

Perfectionism was measured by using the Almost Perfect Scale Revised (Slaney, Rice, Mobley, Trippi, & Ashby, 2001)which consisted of total 23 items with seven point likert type scale from 1= strongly disagree to 7= strongly agree. There are three subscales, Standards, order and discrepancy.

The APS-R self-report was used on a seven point Likert scale.  There were subscales in the APS-R they consisted of the high standards subscale which “measures high persona standards and performance expectations.  The Oder subscale measures preferences for order and organization.  The Discrepancy subscale measures the most clearly negative characteristic of perfectionism in tapping one’s perceived inadequacy in meeting personal standards” (Rice, Ashby, Gilman, 2011)Standards include 7 items e.g., I have high standards for my performance at work or at school. Order includes 4 total items e.g., I am an orderly person. Discrepancy includes 12 items e.g., I often feel frustrated because I can’t meet my goals. Usually, the Cronbach alpha reliability has been reported as for discrepancy .91 or .92. For High Standards and Order these have been found the .80’s (Slaney, Rice, Mobley, Trippi, & Ashby, 2001).

Tool was in English language as the sample was school students so piloting was done to identify their understanding with questionnaire. Sample identified many problems there for it was decided to translate the complete questionnaire. This translation was done by using an internationally accepted translation methodology recommended by MAPI Research Institute. Translation was done through forward and backward method. First of all tool was given to two bilingual persons to translate it in Urdu. Both persons had command on English and Urdu languages and they were working in multinational companies. The translators were instructed to translate these tools in Urdu in the way that original meaning of the tools remained present. The two independent translations were discussed with a bilingual psychologist who had experience in translation and adaptation of scales. Most suitable translation of the items was selected. Some words likestandard, order and high when translated into Urdu, seemed to change meaning of whole sentences so such words and sentences were discussed with two other bilingual psychologist and translation was finalized. It was given to one another bilingual person to translate it back in English to check its original meaning. After checking that back translation final translation was used.

3.3.3.3 Attribution of Problem Cause and Solution Scale.

Stepleman, Darcy, & Tracey, (2005) created the Attribution of Problem Cause and SolutionScale (APCSS) to assess how individual attribute his own problems. The APCSS uses Brickman’s (1982) model of attribution. This more defined look at attribution creates two scales of measurement for internal and external attributions: one for problem causes and one for problem solutions. External cause items include 11 items (e.g., other people are responsible for the cause). Internal cause items include 13 items (e.g., I feel guilt for having caused this problem). Internal solutions have 4 items (e.g., Solving this problem is my responsibility) while external solution consists of 16 items (e.g., Solving the problem is someone else’s responsibility).

Tool was in English language as the sample was school students so piloting was done to identify their understanding with questionnaire. Sample identified many problems there for it was decided to translate the complete questionnaire. This translation was done by using an internationally accepted translation methodology recommended by MAPI Research Institute. Translation was done through forward and backward method. First of all, tool was given to two bilingual persons to translate it in. Both persons had command on English and Urdu languages.They were working in multi-national companies. The translators were instructed to translate these tools in Urdu in the way that original meaning of the tools remained present. The two independent translations were discussed with a bilingual psychologist who had experience in translation and adaptation of scales. Most suitable translation of the items was selected. Some words like cause when translated into Urdu, seemed to change meaning of whole sentences so such words and sentences were discussed with two other bilingual psychologist and translation was finalized. It was given to one another bilingual person to translate it back in English to check its original meaning. After checking that back translation final translation was used.

3.3.3.4 General Self-efficacy Scale.

Schwarzer, & Jerusalem, (1995) developed General Self-Efficacy Scale. It measures the individual’s belief in one’s ability to solve problem in general. It has total 10 items i.e-I can always manage to solve difficult problems if I try hard enough) and, (If someone opposes me, I can find the means and ways to get what I want), with four point likert type scale, 1 = Not at all true, 2 = Hardly true, 3 = Moderately true, 4 = Exactly true. Reported Cronbach alpha ranged from .76 to .90, with the majority in the high .80s. Urdu version of the scale(Tabbasum, Rehman, Schwarzer, and Jerusalem, 2003) was used for the current study.

3.3.3.5 Grit Scale.

Grit scale: Perseverance and Passion for Long-Term Goals, wasused to measure long term persistence. It consists of two parts (i). Consistency of Interests, i-e. I often set a goal but later choose to pursue a di1fferent one and Cronbach alpha reported for this subscale is .84. The second subscale was Perseverance of Effort, i-e. I have achieved a goal that took years of work and Cronbach alpha reported of this subscale was .78 (Duckworth, Peterson, Matthews, & Kelly, 2007). Both parts consist of 6 items each. All items of first part were reversely scored. Items are rated on a 5-point scale from 1= not at all like me to 5= very much like me.

Tool was in English language as the sample was school students so piloting was done to identify their understanding with questionnaire. Sample identified many problems there for it was decided to translate the complete questionnaire. This translation was done by using an internationally accepted translation methodology recommended by MAPI Research Institute. Translation was done through forward and backward method. First of all, tool was given to two bilingual persons to translate it in. Both persons had command on English and Urdu and they were working in multi-national companies. The translators were instructed to translate these tools in Urdu in the way that original meaning of the tools remained present. The two independent translations were discussed with a bilingual psychologist who had experience in translation and adaptation of scales. Most suitable translation of the items was selected. Some words like pursuits, obsessed, setbacks and diligent when translated into Urdu, seemed to change meaning of whole sentences so such words and sentences were discussed with two other bilingual psychologist and translation was finalized. It was given to one another bilingual person to translate it back in English to check its original meaning. After checking that back translation final translation was used.

3.3.4 Procedure.

First of all, researcher went to girl’s school. After taking authority letter from department, permission was taken from principals of schools. Data was collected from students of 9th and 10th class. First of all, researcher collected data from 9th class as both class were seated in separate rooms. Participants were seated comfortably in their class rooms. The researcher assured all the participants about the full confidentiality of all the information obtained from them. The purpose of the research was explained to them. After taking their consents Set of questionnaire i-e., demographic information, the almost perfect scale, the general self-efficacy scale, Attribution of problem cause and solution scale and Grit were given to 50 the participants. Then all instructions were given to the participants. Researcher was present there to solve queries of participants during filling the questionnaires.  Response rate was 100% and 20 to 25 minutes was average recorded time to fill the whole questionnaire. Same procedure was repeated with girls in their school.

3.3.5 Ethical Considerations.

  • First of all, an authority letter was taken from the supervisor and head of the department to start the study.
  • To initiate the study, prior permission for use of the tool as well as to translate them was taken from all authors.
  • To use the translated version of the scales, permission was taken from both the original author and from those who translated.
  • Permission was sorted from the principals of the schools to conduct this study in their schools.
  • The procedure and purpose of the study was explained to the participants and prior permission was taken from them in the form of consent forms. The participants were assured that the information obtained from them must be confidential and would not be used for any other purpose.

3.4 Results

The present research examined the predictors of persistence for long term goals in high school children. Data had missing values. It was found that 5 individuals left more than 5% unresponded items. Data of those individuals were discarded. Out of remaining 198 cases 5 cases had missing items of less than 5%. The values on these items were replaced with series mean. Score on each scale was obtained by calculating the mean scores. Then main data analyses involved performing: (i) Reliability and descriptive analyses to assess psychometric properties of the scales; (ii) Independent sample t-test to assess the gender differences in all study variables. (iv) Pearson product moment correlation was used to analyze the relationship between study variables.(iv) Hierarchical regression analysis to assess predictors of two dimensions of persistence, i.e., consistency of interests and perseverance of effort.

Table 3.2

Reliabilities and Descriptives of Study Variables (N=198)

ScaleαNo. of itemsM(SD)Range
    Potentialactual
Grit
a. Consistency of Interest.6962.68(.86)1-51.00 -5.00
b. Perseverance of Effort.8063.67(.90)1-51.17-5.00
Perfectionism
a. Standard.4275.72(.74)1-72.29-7.00
b. Order.5846.00(.87)1-71.00-7.00
c. Discrepancy.74124.10(.99)1-71.17-6.75
Attributional Styles
a. Internal cause.83134.02(1.07)1-71.00-6.92
Table 3.2 (Continued)
b. Internal solution.5445.18(1.28)1-71.00-7.00
c. External cause.68114.45(.91)1-71.91-6.73
d. External solution.8516      3.79(1.03)1-71.13-6.63
Self-efficacy.84103.01(.60)1-41.39-4.00

Table 3.2 showed reliabilities of all study variables. Cronbach alpha for all study variables reported were within in acceptable range except Standard, subscale of perfectionism, which had poor reliability for current sample. Therefore, it was not included in further analysis. Cronbach alpha for order and internal solution was also relatively low but acceptable (reference).

Independent sample t-test was used to analyze gender differences in all study variables. Assumption of homogeneity of variance was checked through Levene’s test for equal variances. This assumption was not fulfilled for discrepancy, subscale of perfectionism; therefore, t-value for this variable was reported for equal variances not assumed.

Table 3.3

Gender Differences in Persistence for Long term Goals, Perfectionism, Attributional styles and Self efficacy.

VariablesBoys

(n=102)

Girls

(n=96)

95% CICohen’s

D

MSDMSDt(df)PLLUL
Persistence
a.Consistency of interest2.57.842.80.88-1.89(196).06-.47.01.27
 
b.Perseverance of effort3.68.843.66.97.24(196).81-.22.28.03
Perfectionism
a.Order5.88.806.12.91-1.89(196).06-.47.01.27
b.Discrepancy4.30.853.901.092.79(179.68).01.12.67
Attributional styles.41
a.Internal cause4.231.073.811.022.79(196).01.12.71.40
b.Internal solution5.341.235.021.321.69(196).07-.04.68.24
c.External cause4.48.914.41.92.52(196).60-.19.32.07
d.External solution3.941.013.631.032.13(196).03.02.60.30
Self-efficacy3.09.582.92.612.03(196).04.01.34.29

As shown in table 3.3, among attributional styles, internal problem cause and external problems solution were stronger in boys than in girls. Self-efficacy of boys was also higher than girls. Thus the hypotheses No. 1 that dimensions of perfectionism (standard, order, and discrepancy), attributional style (internal problem cause, internal problem solution, external problem cause, and external problem solution), self-efficacy and persistence for long term goals (consistency of interest, perseverance of effort) are likely to be higher in boys as compared to girls was partially approved.

Table 3.4

Correlations between Study Variables in boys (light face) and girls (bold face)

Variables 2345678910
1.Age-.05

.16

.17

-.14

-.06

-.13

.13

.20

.05

.18

-.05

-.40

.17

-.21*

.09

.06

.05

-.12

2.Consistency of interest-.24

-.00

-.12

.09

-.25*

-.09

-.47**

-.02

-.04

.07

-.12

-.07

-.30

-.13

-.14

.14

3.Perseverance of effort.25*

.46**

.13

-.23*

.06

-.09

.18

.29**

.36**

.05

.18

.09

.38**

.37**

4. Order.16

-.23*

.18

-.19

.31*

.27**

.32*

.16

.06

-.01

.24*

.34**

5.Discrepancy.38**

.21*

.23*

.07

.15

.11

.23*

.11

-.05

-.21*

6.Internal cause.18

.07

.23*

-.07

.14

.07

-.02

-.13

7.Internal solution.17

.02

-.03

-.32**

.37*

.32**

8.External cause.36**

.44**

.40**

.09

9.External solution-.02

-.15

10.Self-efficacy

*p<.05, **p<.01

Pearson product movement correlation was used to find relationship between study variables.

Findings showed positive relationship of order with perseverance of effort in both boys and girls, but no relationship of order with consistency of interest in both boys and girls. Therefore, results partially supported hypotheses no. 2 that there would be positive relationship between the dimensions of perfectionism (order) and persistence for long term goals (consistency of interest, perseverance of effort).

However, discrepancy was found to be related with consistency of interest only in boys as well as with perseverance of effort only in girls, thus hypothesis 3 was partially proved that there would be negative relationship of discrepancy with persistence for long term goals (consistency of interest, perseverance of effort).

No relationship was found of internal problem cause Attributional styles with consistency of interest and perseverance of effort Thus hypotheses no. 4 was not accepted that there would be positive relationship of internal problem cause and internal problem solution attributional styles with persistence for long term goals (consistency of interest, perseverance of effort).

External problem cause and external problem solution attributional styles were not found to be negatively related to perseverance of effort as well as consistency of interest. Therefore, hypotheses no. 5 that there would be negative relationship between external problem cause and solution attributional styles and persistence for long term goals (consistency of interest, perseverance of effort) was not accepted.

Positive relationship was observed between self-efficacy and perseverance of effort in both boys and girls, while no relationship was found between self-efficacy and consistency of effort in both boys and girls.Thus hypothesis was partially approved that there would likely to be positive relationship between self-efficacy and persistence for long term goals (consistency of interest, perseverance of effort).

To identify predictors of consistency in interest, hierarchical regression analysis was conducted. Before main analysis assumptions of regression analysis were checked. Assumption of independence of observation was checked through Durbin Watson. Value of Durbin Watson was 1.76 that was in acceptable range of 1 to 3. Assumption of multicollinearity was checked through collinearity diagnostic. Values reported under VIF and tolerance were used to check this assumption. VIF was less 10 and tolerance was greater than .2 thus the assumption of multicollinearity was fulfilled.

For main analysis gender and age were put in block 1. Age was included in this block as a control variable. In second block centered values of order, discrepancy, Attributional styles of internal problem cause, internal problem solution, external problem cause and external problem solution, and general self-efficacy were entered. These centralized values were obtained by taking deviations of scores from their means. In third block interaction terms were entered, these interaction terms were derived by multiplying all independent variables with coded variables i.e. gender. For all blocks enter method was used.

Table 3.5

Hierarchical Regression analysis for predictors of consistency of interest (N=198)

PredictorsBlock 1Block 2Block 3
BSEΒBSEβBSEΒ
Constant2.211.781.88
Age0.020.05.030.050.05.080.050.05.08
Gender0.250.13.140.160.14.090.800.58.46
Order0.000.08.000.020.11.01
Discrepancy0.100.07.120.160.11.18
Internal problem cause0.190.06.240.360.09.44***
Internal problem solution-0.060.06-.09-0.120.08-.18
External problem cause0.060.08.06-0.030.11-.03
External problem solution0.000.07.00*-0.080.09-.10
Self-efficacy0.060.12.040.360.17.25*
Gender x Order-0.080.15-.06
Gender x Discrepancy-0.180.14.10
Gender x Internal problem cause-0.370.12-.31**
Gender x Internal problem solution-0.120.11-.38
Gender x External problem cause0.060.16.05
 
Gender x External problem solution0.170.14.14
Gender x Self-efficacy-0.510.23-.25*
∆R2.02.08*.07**

Note: For gender, 0 = boys, 1 = girls *p<.05, **p<.01, ***p<.001

Table 3.4 showed that in consistency of interest 17.4% variance was explained by the overall model, F(16, 176)=2.32, p= <.01. Gender and age explained 2% variance in Block 1, F (2,190) =1.79, p=.17. In this block neither age nor gender predicted the consistency of interest. Then order, discrepancy, internal problem cause, internal problem solution, external problem cause, external problem solution were entered in 2nd block that explained additional 8.5% variance in consistency of interest, Fchange= (7, 183) =2.47, p=.02. In this block, age and gender again did not predict consistency in interest. Among the dimensions of perfectionism, none of the dimensions predicted outcome variable, rejecting the hypothesis no. 6 that standard and order (dimensions of perfectionism) would positively predict consistency of interest and hypotheses no. 8 that discrepancy (dimensions of perfectionism) would negatively predict consistency of interest. Among the attributonal styles, only internal problem cause positively predicted consistency of interest. Thus, hypothesis no.10 that internal problem cause and internal problem solution attributional styles would positively predict consistency of interest was partially approved. However, External cause and solution did not predict consistency of interest contrary to what was stated in hypothesis12 that external problem cause and external problem solution attributional styles would be negative predictor of consistency of interest. Self-efficacy was also not found to predict consistency of interest, rejecting the hypotheses no. 14 that self-efficacy would positively predict consistency of interest. After this interaction of gender with all variables were put in block 3. This model explained additional 7.1% variance in consistency of interest, Fchange= (7, 176) =2.16, p=.04.Among the all interacted variables only internal problem cause attributional style and self-efficacy interacted with gender positively to predict consistency of interest. Thus, hypotheses no. 16 that gender would moderate the relationship of dimensions of perfectionism (standard, order, and discrepancy), attributional style (internal problem cause, internal problem solution, external problem cause, and external problem solution), self-efficacy with consistency of interest was partially accepted. To calculate regressions weights for internal problem cause and self-efficacy for boys and girls separately, simple slope analysis was used by conducting “two way unstandardized with simple slope.xls” (Dawson, 2013). Results showed in Figure 4.1 explain that higher the level of internal problem cause attributional style, higher the level of consistency in interest in boys, B =0.36, p<.001. While internal problem cause did not predict consistency of interest in girls, B= -0.01, p=.98.

Figure 3.1

Internal problem cause in relation to consistency of interest in boys and girls

Predictors of Persistence in High School Children

Results showed in Figure 4.2 explain that higher the level of self-efficacy, higher the level of consistency in interest in boys, B =0.36, p=.03While self-efficacy did not predict consistency of interest in girls, B= -0.16, p=.83.

Figure 3.2

Self-efficacy in relation to consistency of interest in boys and girls

Predictors of Persistence in High School Children

Table 3.6

Hierarchical Regression Analysis for Prediction of Perseverance of Effort (N=198)

PredictorsBlock 1Block 2Block 3
BSEΒBSEβBSEΒ
Constant3.132.803.28
Age.04.056.050.050.05.080.020.05.03
Gender-.00.14-.000.050.13.03-0.730.58-.40
Order-0.270.07-.26***-0.130.11-.13
Discrepancy0.070.06.07-0.110.11-.12
 
Internal problem cause0.020.06.020.040.08.04
Internal problem solution-0.090.05-.120.010.08.01
External problem cause-0.010.07-.01-0.160.11-.16
External problem solution-0.130.06-.24*-0.030.08-.03
Self-efficacy-0.400.11.04**-0.410.17-.27*
Gender x Order-0.160.15-.12
Gender x Discrepancy0.240.14.21
Gender x Internal problem cause-.050.12-.04
Gender x Internal problem solution0.150.11.44
Gender x External problem cause0.290.15.21
Gender x External problem solution-.230.13-.18
Gender x Self-efficacy.120.23.06
∆R2.002.25***.30***

Note: For gender, 0 = boys, 1 = girls *p<.05, **p<.01, ***p<.001

Table 3.6 showed that in perseverance of effort 30% variance explained by the overall model, F (17, 175)=4.37, p<.001. Gender and Age explained 0.2% variance in block 1, F (2,190) =.24, p=.79.In this block neither age nor gender predicted the perseverance of effort. Then order, discrepancy, internal problem cause, internal problem solution, external problem cause, external problem solution were entered in 2nd block that explained additional 25% variance in perseverance of effort, Fchange= (7, 183) =8.45, p <.001. In this block, age and gender did not seem to be significant predictor, although order, one dimension of perfectionism was found to be negative predictor of perseverance of effort thus hypothesis no. 7, that standard and order (dimensions of perfectionism) would positively predict perseverance of effort) was rejected. Discrepancy was also not found to be predictor of perseverance of effort so; hypotheses no. 9 that discrepancy (dimensions of perfectionism) would negatively predict perseverance of effort was also rejected. Among attributional styles only external problem solution seemed be a negative predictor that would partially accept the hypotheses no.13 that external problem cause and external problem solution attributional styles would negatively predict perseverance of effort and hypotheses no. 11 that internal problem cause and internal problem solution attributional styles would positively predict perseverance of effort was also not accepted. Self-efficacy was found to be the negative predictor of perseverance of effort so, hypotheses no. 15 that self-efficacy would positively predict perseverance of effort was also rejected. After this interaction of gender with all variables were put in block 3 to find the predictors of perseverance of effort. This model explained additional 5% in perseverance of effort, Fchange= (8, 175) =1.61, p=.13. Results showed that none of the interactions predicted the perseverance of effort. Thus hypotheses no. 17 that gender would be moderate the relationship of dimensions of perfectionism (standard, order, and discrepancy), attributional style (internal problem cause, internal problem solution, external problem cause, and external problem solution), and self-efficacy with perseverance of effort was not accepted.

3.4.1 Summary of results.

  • Order (dimension of perfectionism) was found to have positive relationship but did not predict perseverance of effort while these both dimensions were neither related nor predicted consistency of effort.
  • It was found that among attributional styles, only internal problem cause and external problems solution of were stronger in boys than in girls while no differences were found in a dimension of perfectionism and self-efficacy, and two other Attributional style.
  • Among all Attributional styles only internal problem cause was positively related with perseverance of effort while it was found positive predictor of consistency of interest. External problem solution was also found to be the negative predictor of perseverance of effort. Other attributional styles i-e. Internal problem solution and external problem cause neither related with nor predicted Perseverance of effort and consistency of interest.
  • Self-efficacy was found to be neither positively related and negative predictor of perseverance of effort while it was neither related with nor predictor of consistency of interest.

Chapter IV

Study II

4.1 Objectives

Second study was experimental study in which effect of feedback on task persistence for short term goals in high school children was explored. In addition, relationship of perfectionism level, attributional styles, and self-efficacy with task persistence were also assessed.

4.2 Hypothesis

H1: There are likely to be differences in persistence for short term goals after positive negative and average feedback.

H2: Dimensions of perfectionism (standard, order, and discrepancy), attributional styles (internal problem cause, internal problem solution, external problem cause, and external problem solution), self-efficacy and persistence for short term goals are likely to be higher in boys as compared to girls.

H3: Persistence for short term goal is likely to be higher in excellent feedback condition than in average feedback condition

H4: Persistence for short term goal is likely to be lower in poor feedback condition than in average feedback condition

H5: There is likely to be positive relationship of order (dimension of perfectionism) with persistence for short term goals.

H6: There is likely to be negative relationship of discrepancy (dimensions of perfectionism) with persistence for short term goals.

H7: There is likely to be positive relationship of internal problem cause and internal problem solution attributional styles with persistence for short term goals.

H8: There is likely to be negative relationship of external problem cause and external problem solution attributional styles with persistence for short term goals.

H9: There is likely to be positive relationship of self-efficacy with persistence for short term goals.

H10: Excellent feedback is likely to positively predict persistence for short term goals.

H11: Poor feedback is likely to positively predict persistence for short term goals.

H12: Order (dimension of perfectionism) is likely to positively predict persistence for short term goals.

H13: Discrepancy (dimension of perfectionism) is likely to negatively predict persistence for short term goals.

H14: Internal problem cause and internal problem solution attributional styles are likely to positively predict persistence for short term goals.

H15: External problem cause and external problem solution attributional styles are likely to negatively predict persistence for short term goals.

H16: Self-efficacy is likely to positively predict persistence for short term goals.

H17: Gender is likely to moderate the relationship of dimensions of perfectionism (standard, order, and discrepancy), attributional style (internal problem cause, internal problem solution, external problem cause, and external problem solution), self-efficacy with persistence for short term goals

4.3Method

4.3.1 Research design.

Between group research design was used for this experimental study to assess the effect of feedback on persistence for short term goals in school children.While correlational research design was used to assess the relationship of dimensions of perfectionism, four types of attributional styles and self-efficacy with persistence for short term goals.

4.3.2. Sample.

Total N= 60 (males=30, females=30) students were selected only from Government schools for this experiment. Sample was selected on the basis of given inclusion and exclusion criteria.

4.3.2.1 Inclusion criteria

  • Only students of government schools were included for the experiment
  • Students of only 9th and 10th class were included

4.3.2.2Exclusion criteria

  • Students with any visual impairment were excluded
  • Students who did not have computer skills were excluded

Table 4.1

Demographic Characteristics of the Sample (N=60)

VariablesBoys

(n=30)

Girls

(n=30)

 M (SD)f (%)M (S.D)f (%)
Age14.43(0.93)14.33(1.03)
Class
9th class6(20.0)18(60.0)
10th class24(80.0)12(40.0)
Subjects
Science22(73.3)25(83.3)
Arts8926.7)5(16.7)

 4.3.3. Assessment Measures.

Following tools were used for the purpose of collecting data.

 4.3.3.1 Demographic questionnaire. 

Self-developed demographic questionnaire was used in which name, gender, age, and class was asked.

 4.3.3.2 The Almost Perfect Scale.

4.3.3.3 Attribution of Problem Cause and Solution Scale

4.3.3.4 General Self-efficacy Scale.

These all measures have been described in chapter 3, study I.

4.3.3.5 Anagrams.

Time spent on solving unsolvable anagrams was used to assess the persistence for short term goals.An anagram is word, which is spelled with the same set of letters. For example, the following two words are spelled with the same letters: “tan” and “ant.” In present study, for conducting this experiment, anagrams were developed. List of two hundred, five letter, words was prepared. Selected words were taken from the books of science and English of 8th and 7th class and some unsolvable words. Meaning full words were rearranged into anagrams to be solved by the participants. List was given to 200 hundred students of class 9 after their consent. Unsolvable and solve-able anagrams were determined on the bases of percentage of students who solved them and who did not solve them. Three sets of problems were prepared. First set of problems consisted of 12 solvable anagrams which were solved by 49.5 to 75 percent of the students. Second set of problems consisted of problems solved by 44.5 to 45.5% of the students and third set of problems included two anagrams which were solved by none of the students. (see table 4.2).

Table 4.2

Selected words for the three sets of problems.

Sr. No.AnagramsRearranged words%
1.SohesShoes75
2.GonwrGrown60
3.EipcePiece58
4.GinthThing57.5
5.EarlnLearn54.5
6.OurndRound53.5
7.DisesSides53.5
8.TatesTaste52.5
9.PrguoGroup52
10.NahumHuman51.5
11.AkaweAwake51.5
12.PerapPaper49.5
Second set of problems
1.DefixFixed45.5
2.StechChest45
3.LtsisLists44.5
Third set of problems
1.PecitUnsolvable0
2.AceloUnsolvable0

These sets of problems were presented through a computer program, in order, to conduct the experiment. (For complete list of 200 words see appendix D)

4.3.4 Procedure.

After explaining the purpose of the study demonstration was given about the whole experiment to the participants. Experiment was conducted with boys and girls separately. Each group was further divided in two groups of 15 students each. One group of 15 students were given first of all demographic questionnaire, the almost perfect scale, attribution of problem cause and solution scale, and the general self-efficacy scale and after that students were seated comfortably in front of laptops, while the other group of 15 students completed the experiment first and then they were given the set of all questionnaires mentioned above. This was done to balance the order effect of experimental phase and survey phase across the participants. Experiment was conducted through a computer program. First sheet of the program consisted of demographic information in which their name, age, class, group of subject (science or arts) were asked. Second sheet consisted of twelve anagrams that they had to solve in five minutes, after five minutes this sheet was automatically closed. Then participants were given feedback in one of the following forms i-e., Poor! You did poor performance, Average! You did average performance and Excellent! You did excellent performance. The one of the feedbacks were given randomly to participants who had been divided into three groups through block randomization procedure. Neither the participants nor the experimenter knew to which group was given which one feedback. Third sheet consisted of only five anagrams, which included three solvable and two unsolvable anagrams, and for solvable problems difficulty level was higher as compare to the first set of problems. Total time of 15 minutes was given for this sheet while time taken on each word was separately recorded. Average time spent on unsolvable problem was recorded as indicator of persistence for short term goals. The more the students spent average time on the unsolvable problems, the more the student was persistent.

4.3.5 Ethical Considerations.

  • First of all, an authority letter was taken from the supervisor and head of the department to start the study.
  • To initiate the study, prior permission for use of the tools as well as to translate them was taken from all authors.
  • To use the translated version of the scales, permission was taken from both the original author and from those who translated.
  • Permission was sorted from the principals of the schools to conduct this study in their schools.
  • The procedure and purpose of the study was explained to the participants and prior permission was taken from them in the form of consent forms. The participants were assured that the information obtained from them must be confidential and would not be used for any other purpose.

4.4 Results

The present research examined the predictors of persistence for short term goals in high school children. Data had missing values. It was found that no one left more than 5% of un-responded items. 7 cases had missing items of less than 5%. The values on these items were replaced with series mean. Scores on each scale was obtained by calculating the mean scores.  Bootstrapping was done for all analysis. Then main data analyses involved performing:  (i) Descriptive analysis of the study variables; (ii) ANOVA to assess the difference of three types of feedback on persistence for short term goals (iii) Independent sample t-test to assess the gender differences in all study variables. (iv) Pearson-product moment correlation was used to analyze the relationship between study variables (iv) Hierarchical regression analysis to assess predictors of two dimensions of persistence for short term goals.

Table 4.3

Descriptives of Study Variables (N=60)

VariablesM(SD)MinimumMaximum
Average time on unsolvable words (sec)72.026376
Perfectionism
1.      Standard5.73(.82)2.006.00
2.      Order6.04(.72)3.007.00
3.      Discrepancy4.28(.89)2.675.83
Attributional Styles
1.      Internal cause4.15(.94)2.236.08
2.      Internal solution5.46(1.25)2.007.00
3.      External cause4.49(.93)2.456.55
4.      External solution3.65(.93)1.636.81
 
Self-efficacy3.06(.38)2.004.00
Feedback
1.      Excellent f (%)24(40)
2.      Poor f (%)22(36.7)
3.      Average f (%)14(23.3)

One way ANOVA was used to assess differences in persistence for short term goals after positive negative and average feedback.

Table 4.4

Difference in persistence for short term goals (seconds)in three feedback conditions(N =60)

Feed backMSDFP
Excellent79.1977.500.40.67
Average72.9370.06
Poor62.8441.89

Result of current study showed no difference existed between types of feedback (excellent, average and poor) regarding average time, in seconds, on unsolvable words. Thus, hypotheses no. 1 was not accepted that there would be differences in persistence for short term goals after positive negative and average feedback.

Independent sample t-test was used to analyze gender differences in all study variables. Assumption of homogeneity of variance was checked through Levene’s test for equal variances. This assumption was fulfilled for all scales.

Table 4.5

Gender Differences in Persistence for Long term Goals, Perfectionism, Attributional styles and Self efficacy (N =60

VariablesBoys

(n=30)

Girls

(n=30)

95% CICohen’s

D

MSDMSDt(df)pLLUL
Average time on unsolvable words61.3350.6682.7274.47-1.3 (58).19 -64.3011.53
1. Perfectionism
a. Order5.82.846.25.54-2.33(58).02-.79-.06
b. Discrepancy4.36.844.19.96.73(58).47-.30.64
2. Attributional styles
a. Internal cause4.12.934.18.99-.23(58).82-.55.44
b. Internal solution5.251.155.671.35-1.31(58).19-1.07.22
c. External cause4.53.984.45.91.34(58).74-.41.57
d. External solution3.832.943.47.931.46(58).15-.13.83
3. Self-efficacy3.06.343.08.44-.18(58).86-.22.18

As shown in table 4.5, among dimensions of perfectionism, girls showed higher score on order than the boys. No gender differences were found in attributional styles and self-efficacy. Thus the hypotheses No. 1 that dimensions of perfectionism (order, and discrepancy), attributional style (internal problem cause, internal problem solution, external problem cause, and external problem solution), self-efficacy and persistence for short term goals would be higher in boys as compared to girls was not accepted.

Table 4.6

Correlations between Study Variables in boys (light face) and girls (bold face)

Variables12345678910
1. Average time.05**

-.16**

-.00

.08**

.26**

.21**

.03**

.16**

.20**

-.27**

-.09**

-.03**

.16**

-.09**

-.17**

.06**

-.11**

-.02**

2. Poorvs. average-.55**

-.63**

.19**

.27**

.14**

.03**

.19**

-.01*

.08**

.16**

-.04**

-.15**

.18**

-.17**

.11**

.16**

3. Excellent vs. average.16**

-.34**

-.04**

.09**

-.17**

-.06**

.05**

-.38**

.45**

-.03**

-.20**

-.08**

.37**

-.34**

4.Order.49**

.10**

.25**

.14**

.20**

.29**

.42**

.24**

-.01*

-.23**

.27**

.58**

5. Discrepancy.43**

.11**

.22**

.22**

.56**

-.17**

.13**

-.25**

.13**

.14**

6. Internal cause.26**

.24**

.27**

.01*

.20**

.19**

-.32**

.16**

7. Internal solution.16**

.12**

-.13**

-.05**

.25**

.53**

 
8. External cause.21**

.46**

.34**

.28**

9. External solution-.15**

-.23**

10. Self-efficacy

Note: For excellent vs. average feedback 0 = 1=; for poor vs. average, 0 =*p <.05, **p<.01

Negative relationship was found of poor feedback and positive relationship was found of excellent feedback with persistence for short term goalsonly in girls thus; hypothesis 3 that persistence for short term goal would be higher in excellent feedback condition than in average feedback condition and hypotheses no. 4 Persistence for short term goal would be lower in poor feedback condition than in average feedback condition were partially accepted.

Result of study showed positive relationship of order with persistence for short term goals both in boys and girls thus hypotheses 3 that there would be positive relationship of order (dimension of perfectionism) with persistence for short term goals was accepted.

Results found no relationship of discrepancy with persistence for short term goals thus hypotheses 4 that there would negative relationship of discrepancy (dimensions of perfectionism) with persistence for short term goals was rejected.

Positive relationship was found of internal cause problem attributional style with persistence for short term goals only in boys while no relationship was found of internal problem cause with persistence for short term goals. Thus, hypothesis 7 that there would positive relationship of internal problem cause and internal problem solution attributional styles with persistence for short term goals was partially accepted.

It was found that negative relationship was exist between external problem cause and persistence for short term goals only in girls and negative relationship was found of external problem solution with persistence for short term goals only in boys thus hypotheses 9 that there would negative relationship of external problem cause and external problem solution attributional styles with persistence for short term goals was partially accepted.

No relationship was found of  self-efficacy with persistence for short term goals therefore, hypothesis 11, that there would be positive relationship of self-efficacy with persistence for short term goals, was not accepted.

To identify predictors of persistence for short term goals hierarchical regression analysis was conducted. Before analysis assumptions of regression analysis were checked. Assumption of independence of observation was checked through Durbin Watson. Value of Durbin Watson was 2.42 that was in acceptable range of 1 to 3. Assumption of multicollinearity was checked through collinearity diagnostic. Values reported under VIF and tolerance were used to check this assumption. VIF was less 10 and tolerance was greater than .2 thus the assumption of multicollinearity was fulfilled.

gender and age were put in block 1. Age was included in this block as a control variable. In second block centered values of average vs. excellent, average vs. poor, standard, order, discrepancy, Attributional styles of internal problem cause, internal problem solution, external problem cause and external problem solution, and general self-efficacy were entered. These centralized values were obtained by taking deviations of scores from their means. In third block interaction terms were entered, these interaction terms were derived by multiplying all independent variables with coded variables i.e. gender. For all blocks enter method was used.

Table 4.7

Hierarchical Regression analysis for predictors of persistence of short term goals (N=60)

PredictorsBlock 1Block 2Block 3
BSEΒBSEβBSEβ
Constant -46.72-64.0644.54
Age7.58.53-.119.819.00.152.129.90.03
Gender22.1316.5.179.7720.26.081.8543.72.01
Average vs. Poor-19.6323.16-.15-1.8532.45-.01
Average vs. Excellent-6.3524.631-.05-26.2348.49-.20
Order-31.0614.76-.36*-19.4917.08-.22
Discrepancy-6.9810.41-.1019.9321.62.28
Internal problem cause12.4710.10.19-10.3217.03-.15
Internal problem solution2.068.07.048.7411.38.17
External problem cause2.6511.87.04-21.3619.84-.31
External problem solution-2.0411.09-.0318.2413.87.27
Self-efficacy24.8527.22.1521.8447.47.13
Gender x Poor-44.6549.95-.22
Gender x Excellent39.0562.67.27
Gender x Order-60.4833.02-.37
Gender x Discrepancy-34.7226.04-.36
Gender x Internal problem cause46.3621.26.50*
 
Gender x Internal problem solution-10.8815.07-.16
Gender x External problem cause59.7527.22.59*
Gender x External problem solution-69.6323.23-.61*
Gender x Self-efficacy-20.1261.61-.09
∆R2.041.119.229

Note:For excellent vs. average feedback 0 = 1=; for poor vs. average, 0 =For gender, 0 = boys, 1 = girls  *p<.05

Table 4.7 showed that in persistence for short term goals 38.9% variance was explained by the overall model, F(20, 39) =1.24, p = .27. Gender and age explained 4.% variance in persistence for short term goals block 1, F(2, 57) =1.23, p =.30. In this block neither age nor gender predicted the consistency of interest. Then average vs. excellent, average vs. poor, standard, order, discrepancy, internal problem cause, internal problem solution, external problem cause, external problem solution were entered in 2nd block that explained additional 11.9 % variance in persistence for short term goals, Fchange= (9,48)=.75, p =.70. In this block, age and gender again did not predict persistence for short term goals. Neither excellent nor poor feedback found to be the significant predictor of persistence for short term goals and rejected the hypotheses no.10 that excellent feedback would positively predict persistence for short term goals and hypotheses no. 11 that poor feedback would positively predict persistence for short term goals. No dimension of perfectionism was found to be the predictor of persistence for short term goals. Thus hypotheses no. 12 that order (dimension of perfectionism) would positively predict persistence for short term goals and hypotheses no. 13 that discrepancy (dimensions of perfectionism) would negatively predict persistence for short term goals were not accepted. Among the all attributonal styles, not a single style predicted persistence for short term goals. Thus, hypotheses no.14 that internal problem cause and internal problem solution attributional styles would positively predict consistency of interest and hypotheses15 stated that external problem cause and external problem solution attributional styles would be negative predictor persistence for short term goals were rejected. Self-efficacy was also not found to positively predict persistence thus rejecting the hypotheses no. 16, self-efficacy would positively predict persistence for short term goals. After this interaction of gender with all variables were put in block 3. This model explained additional 22.9% in persistence for short term goals, Fchange= (9, 39) =1.62, p =.14.Among the all interacted variables internal problem cause, and external problem cause and external problem solution attributional styles interacted with gender to predict persistence for short term goals. Thus, hypotheses no. 16 that gender would moderate the relationship of dimensions of perfectionism (standard, order, and discrepancy), attributional style (internal problem cause, internal problem solution, external problem cause, and external problem solution), self-efficacy with persistence for short term goals was partially accepted. To calculate regressions weights for internal problem cause and external problem solution for boys and girls separately, simple slope analysis was used by conducting “two way unstandardized with simple slope.xls” (Dawson, 2013).

Results showed in Figure 4.1 showed interaction effect of low and high internal attibutional styles on persistence for short term goals in boys and girls and explained that higher level of internal problem cause predict high level of persistence for short term goals in girls, B =-10.32, p = .55, while high level of low internal problem cause showed minor decrease in persistence for short term goals in boys, B= 36.04, p= .52

Figure 4.1

Internal problem cause in relation to consistency of interest in boys and girls

Predictors of Persistence in High School Children

Results showed in Figure 4.2 showed interaction effect of low and high level of external problem cause on persistence for short term goals and explained that higher the level of external problem cause positively predict persistence for short term goals in girls, B = 2.65, p = .89, while higher level of external problem solution showed minor decrease in persistence for short term goals in boys, B = 62.40, p=.31.

Figure 4.2

External problem cause in relation to persistence for short term goals in boys and girls

Predictors of Persistence in High School Children

Results showed in Figure 4.3 showed that there was interaction effect between external problem solution and persistence of boys and girls and level of external problem solution decreased while persistence was getting higher in girls B = -6.8, p = .16while no prediction was proved in persistence for short term goals in boys, B = -2.04, p=.64.

Figure 4.3

External problem solution in relation to persistence for short term goals in boys and girls

Predictors of Persistence in High School Children

Thus results showed that hypotheses 17 that gender is likely to moderate the relationship of dimensions of perfectionism (standard, order, and discrepancy), attributional style (internal problem cause, internal problem solution, external problem cause, and external problem solution), self-efficacy with persistence for short term goals was partially accepted.

Summary of results.

  • Negative effect of poor and positive effect of feedback only in girls was found on persistence for short term goals.
  • Order was found to be positively related with persistence for short term goals both in girls and boys but did not found to be the predictor of persistence also. Discrepancy neither related nor predicted persistence for short term goals.
  • Among all attributional styles, internal problem cause positively related in boys, while external problem solutionwas negatively related persistence for short term goals in boys but these variables did not predict persistence for short term goals.
  • Self-efficacy neither related nor predicted persistence for short term goals.
  • Gender was found to moderate the relationship of internal problem cause, external problem cause, and external problem solution attributional style with persistence for short term goals.

Chapter V

Discussion

The present study was conducted to explore the predictors of persistence in high school children. In first study, predictors of persistence for long term goals were explored. Persistence was measured through two dimensions i.e. consistency in interest and perseverance of effort. Relationship was explored in dimensions of perfectionism (standard, order and discrepancy), Attibutional styles (internal problem cause, internal problem solution, external problem cause and external problem Solution) and self-efficacy with consistency in interest and perseverance of effort.

Students who have high academic achievements were seemed to be more persistent and consistent as compare to the low achievers (Wiley & Magoon, 1982; Aslam, 2013; Moreira, Dias, Vaz & Vaz, 2013). It supported to conclude that high persistence depends upon high level of academic achievement.

Firstly, it was anticipated that dimensions of perfectionism were related with perseverance and consistency. Findings of the study suggested that order, one dimension of perfectionism was related with perseverance of effort. This dimension was also considered as adaptive perfectionism. Academic achievement was related to adaptive perfectionism (Fong & Yuen, 2009) and high achievers were more persistent and perseverant for their targeted goals as compare to the low achievers (Aslam, 2013). It supported the findings of current research indirectly that mostly students who were adaptive perfectionist, they sticked to their work until they achieve their goals or show high academic achievement. On the side, it was assumed that discrepancy, another dimension of perfectionism would negatively relate with perseverance of effort and consistency in interest. Result supported the hypotheses only with one dimension of Persistence i-e. Perseverance of effort, but findings did not in line with the other dimension of Persistence i-e. Consistency of effort. This dimension was considered as maladaptive perfectionism.Maladaptive perfectionists perceive themselves as failures, and obsess over possible negative future outcomes, claim experts. Therefore they could not persist for their targeted goals in future. Results were not consistent with hypotheses, there were many reasons exist for these results. Parenting authority styles determined perfectionist or non-perfectionist children (Flett, Hewitt & Singer, 1995; Neumeister & Finch, 2006). Another important factor was interest of the students which played crucial role for being a persistent. Parker (2003) suggested locus of control and self-motivation ( Ivankova & Stick, 2007)  as significant factors of persistence in students. High grade school also predict more persistent children (Manski & Wise, 1983).

Attributional styles also considered important factor in student’s life. These styles vary from individual to individual and situation to situation. It was anticipated that internal problem cause and internal problem solution Attributional styles were positively related and predicted persistence while external problem cause and external problem solution were negatively related and predicted with persistent. Results partially accepted the hypotheses and it was observed that internal problem cause related as well as predicted consistency of interest, one aspect of persistence, when it was interacted with gender. Results of the study were in line with the findings of Peterson & Barrett, 1987; Schiman, 1995) that mostly students have pessimistic or internal or stable attributional styles who have low grade point average (GPA). On the other hand, it was also found that students with pessimistic attributional styles have higher GPAs (Satterfield, Monahan, & Seligman, 1997).

Attributional styles also depend on situation. Weiner (1980, 1992)people tried to uphold their self-image and took their environment in such a way which would not harm their self-image. That is why they attribute their successes or failures to factors that enable them to feel as good as possible about themselves. It conclude that when learners succeed at an academic task, they are likely to want to attribute this success to their own efforts or abilities; but when they fail, they want to attribute their failure to factors over which they have no control, such as bad teaching or bad luck.The basic principle of attribution theory as it applies to motivation is that a person’s own perceptions or attributions for success or failure determine the amount of effort the person expend on that activity in the future. These theoretical findings can be relate to the above mentioned findings (Wiley & Magoon, 1982; Aslam, 2013) that achievement of high grades or GPAs also depends on persistence of students.

Another assumption of the study upholds the statement that self-efficacy of students would positively relate with persistence (perseverance of effort and consistency in interest). Findings were consistent with perseverance of effort. The student who have more belief on themselves that they have ability to perform well, they persistently make an effort until unless they achieve their targeted goals. Finding were in same line with the findings suggested by Bunn, 2004; Holder, 2007; Ivankova & Stick, 2007; Kemp, 2002; Müller, 2008; Park & Choi, 2009; Parker, 200. Self-efficacy played large in child’s performance. It has direct relationship with academic achievement of students (Zare, Rastegar & Hosseini, 2011). Studies suggest that self-efficacious students are able to achieve academically because they monitor and self-regulate their impulses and persist in the face of difficulties( Komarraju & Nadler, 2013).
Most of the students tried to be ordered while they struggled to achieve their target goals. High achievers were associated with Perseverance was considered very important factor of study as student continued their effort till they achieved their goals. Interests of students also play large role in self-efficacy belief of students which lead to persistence and in other words good academic achievement level ( Hidi, Berndoff, & Ainley,  2002).

In second study, predictors of persistence for short term goals were explored. Effect of feedback was also assessed.

Results suggested that excellent, average and poor feedback had no effect on persistence of children. It was assumed that feedback would be effective for the performance of children and the findings were consistent with hypotheses.  As Bangert-Drowns, Kulik, and Morgan (1991) found that feedback was positively related to greater achievement in most settings. In present study, feedback was given in excellent, average and poor performance and it was anticipated that excellent feedback would positively relate with task persistence while poor feedback would negatively relate with task persistence. Findings were consistent with this anticipation. It was observed in daily life that critical comments were more affective then the simple right and wrong responses as suggested by Kluger & DeNisi’s (1996) and Hattie &Timperley’s (2007).

Findings suggested that effect of excellent and poor feedback was prominent in girls as compare to boys as suggested by (Roberts, 1991) that women tend to take the feedback they receive as a reflection of how others see them, while men do not let one negative score or judgment affect their overall abilities and future performances. There were many factors that women tend to take feedback very serious which directly affect their performance. As Roberts (2001) suggested that females have lower status than males which ultimately results in lower self-confidence. Dedovic, Wadiwalla, Engret and Pruessner (2009) found that men and women also differ biologically. Findings of their study suggested that women were more affected by their stress hormone regulation especially when they were susceptible to social interactions and possible rejection. Djamasbi and Loiacono (2008) found mood changings after receiving feedback that might affect the performance of females. Another factor that might have a chance to create effect of feedback was the self-confidence of female students. McCarty (1986) reported that women have generally lower self-confidence as compare to the men. Findings of these researches were in same line with the findings of present research as girls showed effect of excellent and poor feedback.

Another assumption holds that the boys would likely to be more persistent than the girls. Findings of study suggest that there were no significant gender exist in persistence were consisted with the findings of Jagacinski, Lebold, and Salvendy (1988) as their findings showed that persistence rates was similar for men and women in computer technology, electrical/computer engineering, and industrial engineering. More findings byTownsend (2011) suggested that the effects of gender are significant for persistence and this difference was more prominent in girls than the boys. Many reasons exists for inconsistency in results as suggested by Bunn (2004) that Isolation and decreased engagement major barriers to persistence. Morris (2005) reported that time span which was spent during the activity have also very importance for being a persistent.

5.1 Conclusions

It was concluded that Persistence is an important aspect in student’s life and it plays large role in academic career of students. It cannot be ignored. This trait may lead the child on big status. Results of the current study suggested that order (dimension of perfectionism) and internal Attributional styles better predictor of persistence for long term as well as short term goals.

5.2 Limitations and Recommendations

Several limitations have been noted in the present research.

  • To conduct the experiment, the anagrams were taken from the course of sample’s previous class. The percentage of students who could comprehend the words was very less, which is why it is concluded that the words were found to be very difficult by the students participating in the experiment. Hence for future similar experiments these anagrams should be revised from the less difficult course books of the students.
  • Factor entitled no feedback was not included in the study, which could be used for the controlled group or as basline in analysis. in future, there students should be given the liberty to utilize the factor of no feedback as it will help the researcher to gain more insight to the attribution styles, perfectionism and feedback of students with respect to their genders.
  • Many variables were ignored that have direct influence on persistence like interest, motivational styles, parenting styles, peer and social interaction, mood status, IQ level etc. It was suggested that in future, these variables should also added so more predicting factors of persistence would also identified.
  • Reliability coefficient of one subscale of perfectionism i.e. Standard found to be very low, that’s why could not include in further analysis. Thus, subscale should be considered with restraint while generalizing the results.
  • Sample size was very small in experimental study, taken from only four government schools of Lahore city, which limited the generalizability of the results. Sample should be taken from private school also to develop anagrams as well as to conduct experiment so research would be more generalized.
  • Age range taken for this study was very low. In future age range should be increased to maintain validity and reliability of variables.
  • Study I included Grit: perseverance and passion for long term goals which measured the hardworking and determination of students from a long time. Students of 9h and 10th class. It was found that students did not set their goals at that stage. Therefore, this study could be replicated with students of FA or BA class.

5.3 Implications

  • Study would be helpful for teacher and parents, if they observe that child performance is poor, they should also check his persistence along with IQ.
  • Findings of the study would be helpful in career counseling as well as in vocational guidance to develop norms and tools of mechanical and abstract reasoning of boys and girls separately.
  • Findings of perfectionism would be helpful in field of human resource management also as study suggested that boys were perfectionist as compare to girls.
  • This study would be helpful in taking steps for the children who want to continue their study in future.