Preadolescent girls' and boys' attributions for computer experiences

Mary Gina DiBenedetto, Fordham University

Abstract

This study investigated the attributions preadolescent children make to computer experience. The author developed both the Computer Experience Survey (to assess children's level of computer experience) and the Computer Achievement Responsibility Survey (CARS; an attributional instrument based on the School Achievement Responsibility Survey and derived from Weiner's 1976 theoretical model of attribution of ability, effort, task difficulty-ease, and luck). The CARS was used to assess the attributions children made to hypothetical successful and failure computer scenarios, and students were assigned to low, middle, or high computer experience categories based on the Computer Experience Survey. ^ The study's purpose was threefold: (a) to investigate whether gender differences exist in middle school students' computer experiences, (b) to explore whether these students' computer experiences influence the attributions they make to successful and failure computer scenarios, and (c) to investigate whether the specific type of computer task (computer games, word processing, or educational computer games) affects those attributions. ^ Two hundred students from three school districts responded to both surveys. The Computer Experience Survey found that boys spent significantly more time at home playing computer games, and exploring the Internet than the girls, who spent significantly more time at home word processing. No gender differences were found in school computer use. ^ The CARS found some significant differences in attributions made to successful and failure computer scenarios. Boys agreed to a greater extent with stable (ability and task difficulty-ease) attributions to successful overall, computer game, and word processing scenarios than girls. High computer experienced students agreed to a greater extent with ability attributions to successful overall, and word processing scenarios than less experienced students. Low computer experienced students agreed to a greater extent with ability attributions to failure overall, and computer game scenarios than their more experienced counterparts. No significant interaction effects were found for the variables of gender, computer experience, and attributions to overall and content specific computer scenarios. ^

Subject Area

Education, Educational Psychology|Education, Secondary|Education, Technology of

Recommended Citation

Mary Gina DiBenedetto, "Preadolescent girls' and boys' attributions for computer experiences" (January 1, 2000). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI9975345.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9975345

Share

COinS