Self-Evaluations of Kindergarten Children: Inaccurate and Undifferentiated?

Beatrice Priel, Avi Assor, Emda Orr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Israeli kindergartners from kibbutz and city environments evaluated themselves using Harter and Pike’s (1984) pictorial scale on four domains: Cognitive competence, physical competence, peer acceptance, and mother acceptance. The children were rated previously by their teachers on subscales corresponding to the first three domains. Results indicated that in their self-appraisals, kibbutz children, unlike city kindergartners, differentiated among the four evaluative domains tapped by the pictorial scale and showed a moderate level of congruence with teachers’ ratings. The levels of differentiation and congruence manifested by kibbutz kindergartners were similar to those typically reported for middle elementary school children in other social contexts and cultures. The most central and differentiated domain in the self-evaluations of kibbutz children was peer acceptance, whereas for city kindergartners the most central and differentiated domain was mother acceptance. Contrary to the view that inaccurate and undifferentiated self-judgment among young children is a normal cognitive developmental phenomenon, the results indicated that the general level of cognitive maturity in young children does not severely limit their capacity for accurate and differentiated self-appraisal. The findings are consistent with approaches emphasizing the role of contextual factors in the development of social cognition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-394
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Genetic Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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