Journal of Applied Social Psychology

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Volume 46 Issue 3 (March 2016), Pages 141-200

Revisiting the relationship between attributional style and academic performance (pages 192-200)


Previous research into the relationship between attributions and academic performance has produced contradictory findings that have not been resolved. The present research examines the role of specific dimensions of attributional style in predicting subsequent academic performance in a sample of pupils (N = 979) from both high‐ and low‐achieving schools. Hierarchical regression and moderation analyses indicate that internal, stable, and global, attributional styles for positive events predict higher levels of academic performance. Global attributions for negative events were related to poorer performance across all schools. Stable attributions for negative events were related to higher levels of performance in high‐achieving schools but not in low‐achieving schools. Higher levels of internality for negative events were associated with higher performance only in low achieving schools.

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