An investigation of the impact of young children's self-knowledge of trustworthiness on school adjustment: A test of the realistic self-knowledge and positive illusion models

Authors

  • Lucy R. Betts,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Psychology, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK
      Correspondence should be addressed to Dr Lucy R. Betts, Division of Psychology, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham NG1 4BU, UK (e-mail: lucy.betts@ntu.ac.uk).
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  • Ken J. Rotenberg,

    1. School of Psychology, Keele University, Keele, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, UK
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  • Mark Trueman

    1. School of Psychology, Keele University, Keele, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, UK
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Correspondence should be addressed to Dr Lucy R. Betts, Division of Psychology, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham NG1 4BU, UK (e-mail: lucy.betts@ntu.ac.uk).

Abstract

The study aimed to examine the relationship between self-knowledge of trustworthiness and young children's school adjustment. One hundred and seventy-three (84 male and 89 female) children from school years 1 and 2 in the United Kingdom (mean age 6 years 2 months) were tested twice over 1-year. Children's trustworthiness was assessed using: (a) self-report at Time 1 and Time 2; (b) peers' reports at Time 1 and Time 2; and (c) teacher-reports at Time 2. School adjustment was assessed by child-rated school-liking and the Short-Form Teacher Rating Scale of School Adjustment (Short-Form TRSSA). Longitudinal quadratic relationships were found between school adjustment and children's self-knowledge, using peer-reported trustworthiness as a reference: more accurate self-knowledge of trustworthiness predicted increases in school adjustment. Comparable concurrent quadratic relationships were found between teacher-rated school adjustment and children's self-knowledge, using teacher-reported trustworthiness as a reference, at Time 2. The findings support the conclusion that young children's psychosocial adjustment is best accounted for by the realistic self-knowledge model (Colvin & Block, 1994).

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