Parental, child-centered attributions and outcome: A meta-analytic review with conceptual and methodological implications

Thomas E. Joiner, Karen Dineen Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

66 Scopus citations


Eight empirical studies which bear on the relation between parents' 'child-centered' attributions for children's problems and parental satisfaction or child adjustment were meta-analyzed. The parental attributional dimensions of stability and globality garnered the most support as correlates of parental satisfaction and/or children's adjustment; the dimensions of intent, selfish motivation, and blame received initial support and warrant further study. Important methodological and conceptual issues were identified and improvements are suggested. The need for prospective designs aimed at determining the causal relation, if any, between parental attributions and outcome, thorough assessment of attributions and the events which impinge upon them, detailed measurement of symptom and satisfaction variables, a wider array of child diagnoses, and establishment of parental diagnoses, are emphasized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-52
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 20 1996


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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