Does attachment style affect development of a growth mindset in primary school children?

Student thesis: Masters ThesisMasters by Research


Local authorities are implementing growth mindset interventions in educational and sports settings, and are currently targeting areas of multiple deprivation in Dundee. Mindset (growth or fixed) is known to affect educational outcomes, as is security attachment style, often associated with home environment. The current studies examined the effect of growth mindset interventions on children beginning school to discover if children with insecure attachment styles were more responsive to growth mindset strategies than their securely attached peers. After assessing security attachment style, problem solving skills and initial mindset, participants completed a sequencing task during which they received either fixed or growth mindset praise. Encouragingly, results found both insecurely attached and initially fixed mindset holding children could perform as well as securely attached, growth mindset participants, when they received growth mindset praise. Interestingly, performance of securely attached and growth mindset peers fell in the presence of fixed mindset feedback. The studies demonstrate the importance of language used in educational settings and the impacts of differing praise types on all children’s academic performance.
Date of AwardDec 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Abertay University
SupervisorClare Cunningham (Supervisor) & Noelle McAra (Supervisor)


  • Growth mindset
  • Attachment
  • Primary school children

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