Japanese children's action-control beliefs about school performance

Mayumi Karasawa, Todd D. Little, Takahiro Miyashita, Mari Mashima, Hiroshi Azuma

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15 Scopus citations


Guided by research on German, Russian, and American children, we tested whether the tripartite action-theory model of children's psychological control generalises to Japanese children (grades 2-6, N = 817). Specifically, we used the Control, Agency, and Means-ends Interview (CAMI) to assess whether Japanese children's self-related agency beliefs, general control expectancies, and causality-related means-ends beliefs about their school performance are similar to those of children from other sociocultural contexts. The CAMI has shown strong cross-cultural validity, but it has not been tested in Japanese children. Because the CAMI measurement structure generally validated in this sample and the resulting action-control constructs showed many inter-cultural similarities, we concluded that the action-control beliefs generalise to Japanese children. The similarities likely reflect inter-cultural commonalities in teaching formats and everyday conceptions of performance in formal schooling contexts. In addition to these important similarities, however, we found inter-cultural differences in the self-related agency beliefs (i.e. patterns that were specific to this Japanese sample). For example, the role of luck and the relations between effort and ability showed unique patterns in these children (e.g. lower correlations than in other sociocultural settings).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-423
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997


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