Predicting Gender Differences in School Achievement and Social Acceptance: The Role of Delay of Gratification

Zdenka Brebrić, Tajana Ljubin Golub, Majda Rijavec

Abstract


The study explored whether delay of gratification measured
in 6-year old preschool children, incrementally predicts their
subsequent academic achievement and social acceptance in
elementary school above cognitive abilities. The role of
gender in this relationship was also examined. The sample
comprised 99 girls and 120 boys attending fourth, fifth and
sixth grades. The study was longitudinal with two
measurement points: measures of cognitive abilities and
delay of gratification were taken at the age of 6, while
measures of academic achievement (GPA, grade in Croatian
language and math) and social acceptance, measured with
the sociometric technique, were taken between the age of 10
and 12 years. It was confirmed that delay of gratification
predicted both subsequent academic achievement and social
acceptance in elementary school above cognitive abilities,
but more strongly for boys than for girls. Also, delay of
gratification mediated the relationship between gender and
all four dependent variables. Gender differences in social
acceptance, Croatian and math grades were partially
explained and gender differences in GPA were fully
explained by gender differences in delay of gratification
measured at preschool age.


Keywords


academic achievement; delay of gratification; elementary school; self-regulation; social acceptance

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Copyright (c) 2020 Zdenka Brebrić, Tajana Ljubin Golub, Majda Rijavec

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096