Evaluating Optimism: Developing Children’s Version of Optimistic Attributional Style Questionnaire



People differ significantly in how they usually explain to themselves the reasons of events, both positive and negative, that happen in their lives. Psychological research shows that children who tend to think optimistically have certain advantages as compared to their pessimistically thinking peers: they are less likely to suffer from depression, establish more positive relationships with peers, and demonstrate higher academic achievements. This paper describes the process of creating the children’s version of the Optimistic Attributional Style Questionnaire (OASQ-C). This technique is based on the theory of learned hopelessness and optimism developed by M. Seligman, L. Abramson and J. Teas dale and is an efficient (compact) tool for measuring optimism as an explanatory style in children and adolescents (9-14 years). Confirmatory factor analysis revealed that this technique is a two-factor structure with acceptable reliability. Validity is supported by the presence of expected correlations between explanatory style and rates of psychological well-being, dispositional optimism, positive attitude to life and its aspects, depression, and academic performance. The outcomes of this technique are not affected by social desirability. The developed questionnaire may be recommended to researchers and school counsellors for evaluating optimism (optimistic thinking) as one of the major factors in psychological well-being of children; it may also be used in assessing the effectiveness of cognitive oriented training for adolescents.

General Information

Keywords: optimistic attributional style, diagnostics, success and failure explanatory style, psychologi¬cal well-being, depression, culture, adolescents

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/chp.2017130206

Funding. This research was supported by grant from Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project named “Optimism as predictor of effective performance and psychological well-being: structure and diagnostics” (№ 16-36-00037).

For citation: Gordeeva T.O., Sychev O.A., Osin E.N. Evaluating Optimism: Developing Children’s Version of Optimistic Attributional Style Questionnaire. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2017. Vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 50–60. DOI: 10.17759/chp.2017130206. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Tamara O. Gordeeva, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Psychologiy, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Leading Research Fellow, International Laboratory of Positive Psychology of Personality and Motivation, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3900-8678, e-mail: tamgordeeva@gmail.com

Oleg A. Sychev, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Senior Researcher of Research Departament, Shukshin Altai State University for Humanities and Pedagogy, Biysk, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0373-6916, e-mail: osn1@mail.ru

Evgeny N. Osin, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Deputy Head of the International Laboratory of Positive Psychology of Personality and Motivation, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3330-5647, e-mail: eosin@hse.ru



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