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Metacognitive Self-Confidence in School-Aged Children

Chapter in book
Authors Sabina Kleitman
Lazar Stankov
Carl Martin Allwood
S. Young
K.K.L. Mak
Published in In M. M. C. Mok (Ed.), Self-directed learning oriented assessment in the Asia-Pacific
Pages 139-153
ISBN 9789400745063
Publisher Springer
Place of publication New York
Publication year 2013
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 139-153
Language en
Keywords Metacognition, confidence children, self-confidence
Subject categories Psychology


Prior research within the area of metacognition indicates that a self-confidence construct exists among both adults and primary school children aged 9–12. In this chapter, we review findings from several recent studies that demonstrate good predictive validity of the self-confidence construct and examine the predictors of this construct. In these studies, the students’ academic, non-academic and metacognitive self-concepts were assessed. We also assessed students’ perceptions of their key environments: classroom and family. The results from these studies demonstrate stable individual differences in confidence ratings. Higher levels of self-confidence predicted greater school achievement, irrespective of a student’s cognitive ability, age and gender. Metacognitive and academic self-concept acted as both important predictors of the students’ levels of confidence and mediators of the predictions that other variables had on self-confidence. Classroom factors (goal orientation) were linked to metacognitive and academic self-concepts, which in turn positively predicted academic outcomes and self-confidence. Such results support the claim for the existence of a broad self-confidence construct, signifying its pertinence for school achievement. The results also suggest that a student’s perception of classroom and family dynamics has an important influence on both confidence and achievement. We discuss the implications of our findings for both parents and teachers, and we consider ways to improve academic outcomes for students.

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