One of the factors justifying the academic achievement of students who have the same talent is motivation. In other words, some students depict more interest and motivation than the others. This interest and motivation justify their academic progress . Motivation can be defined, in general, as the driving force of human activities and its directing factor. In other words, motivation is the activating factor of human behavior.
One of the factors impacting students' motivation is what factors the students attribute their successes and failures. This issue is discussed in one of the cognitive theories related to motivation called attribution theory . The central theme of these theories is the cause-and-effect analysis that individuals use of their behavior and that of others. In other words, man wants to know more about the causal structure of his environment and what motivates the event .
Attribution theories generally discuss two primary issues: causal factors and causal dimensions. Causal factors mean why people attribute their successes and failures. Assuming Baron, Byrne, and Branscomb (2006) noted four classic causes of ability, effort, difficulty, and chance, these causal factors can also be measured in terms of dimensions in the contract subject. For instance, Baron refers to the internality-externality dimension. In his opinion, talent and effort are internal causes, and luck and difficulty of a task are external and situational factors . Biren refers to the dimension of stability and controllability explaining that temperament and effort are unstable. But mood is far less controllable than effort . Bensch describes the dimensions of distinctiveness, consistency, and consensus .
The type of attribution students give to their academic achievement is related to topics that impactacademic achievement. Students 'causal attributions relate to their expectations of future performance, future academic behavior, and emotional states. This study examines the relationship between gender, academic achievement, emotional intelligence, and economic status with the documents. He selected students as a research sample and examined three essential dimensions of attribution, including consistency, locus of control, and globality. There has also been a lot of research on the relationship between credentials and academic achievement, including Peterson and Barratt . This study will discuss the relationship between attribution and academic achievement, regarding the three dimensions mentioned in both sexes.
But in the meanwhile, the impact of other factors such as emotional intelligence and economic status cannot be ignored. Emotional intelligence on academic achievement is independent but highly interrelated structures. Emotional intelligence and feeling in humans is an undeniable fact. In humans, the right hemisphere of the brain is related to emotional intelligence, which includes the desire for happiness, fear of humiliation . Emotional intelligence is the ability to be oneself aware, realize oneself and others, confront intense emotions and self-management, and so on. John Anil defines emotional intelligence as follows: Emotional intelligence is another type of intelligence. This intelligence involves recognizing one's feelings and using them to make appropriate decisions in life. When failure to achieve a goal creates motivation and hopes the sense of being aware of people's feelings around you . Theorists argue that emotional intelligence tells us what we can do. Emotional intelligence means having the skill. To know who we are and what thoughts, feelings, emotions, and behaviors we have means knowing our own and others’ emotions so that we can behave based on that morality and competence. However, considering that learning, performance, and academic achievement are among the essential topics in parenting psychology and educational situations that are influenced by various personal (intra-personal) and situational (extra-personal) factors.
In education, there are factors involved, some of which lead to academic achievement and some of which hinder progress and act as a deterrent. If we can conclude in a scientific study what are the reinforcing factors and deterrents to progress. The students will be educated, rich scientific resources that will help the staff, education planners, and parents of students achieve the goal, which is to transfer knowledge and information to students and reduce the waste of material and human resources. One of the factors of academic achievement is the family economy because students in a prosperous family with educational facilities and peace of mind can be more successful in education. Based on previous research that has been conducted on the relationship between attribution styles and academic achievement, the question arises as to what is the relationship between attribution styles and students' academic achievement and, in this regard, the variables of emotional intelligence and family economic status. What role do they play?
In a study entitled Jahanafrooz (2013) entitled: “The study of the effect of emotional intelligence on academic achievement in female high school students” to investigate the relationship between emotional intelligence and academic achievement in the statistical population of students in 20 high schools in Tehran by random cluster sampling in 2 regions, 1 school from each region and 15 people from each school were selected and using Paul emotional intelligence test, the research hypothesis was tested, which was the relationship between emotional intelligence and academic achievement. The study results indicated a positive and significant relationship between emotional intelligence and academic achievement of female high school students.
Pourmohammad Reza Tajrishi, in a study entitled: “The role of gender moderator in the relationship between attribution style (with both positive and negative levels) and academic achievement in high school students that 233 students (118 girls and 115 boys)”, they were studying in the third year of mathematics-physics from the high schools of the nineteen educational districts of Tehran and based on multi-stage cluster sampling, they were randomly selected and completed the Peterson style questionnaire. Also, the average scores of students in mathematics, physics, and chemistry in the first semester were considered an indicator of academic achievement. The results were analyzed using a two-way analysis of variance. The results indicated a significant relationship (0.01) between attribution style and academic achievement. The gender variable caused significant changes in the rate of academic achievement of students with positive attribution styles; however, it did not make significant changes in the rate of academic achievement of students with negative attribution styles. As a result, attribution style predicts a more significant change in students’ academic achievement than gender, and this finding isessential in explaining the academic failure.
Kheradmand et al., also examined causal relationships between family’s socio-economic status, computer game addiction, and academic achievement through a structural model. They observed that students with high socio-economic status, although more addicted to computer games, also had more extraordinary academic achievement. Of course, it should be noted that the low socio-economic status of some students is not the cause of their lack of motivation. However, the factors usually associated with low socio-economic status affect their motivation and academic success. In other words, families with low socio-economic status have fewer resources to help their children learn outside of school than those with high socio-economic status .
The study conducted by Morris & Tiggman entitled: “The impact of attribution styles on students’ academic performance: Testing the modified model of irregularity’s research on students' reactions to their academic outcomes” indicated that students identify the cause of their success and failure. Successful students generally focus on internal causes, and unsuccessful students focus on external causes .
Fazio and Palm also found a low correlation between academic achievement and attribution style. They found that students who attributed their failure to general and consistent causes performed well in their homework. This result contradicts the results stated in previous studies. They stated that this discrepancy might be due to a defect in sampling . Bridges also suggested that the attribution style in predicting academic achievement is not appropriate .
Beyer et al., also examined the relationship between family socio-economic status, childbirth order, and self-efficacy in high school adolescents. They observed that parents' higher education (higher education) and the birth order of children (being the last child) have a significant and positive relationship with higher self-efficacy and academic achievement. Although self-efficacy and socio-economic status are both significant and influential variables of students’ motivation and academic performance, most of the research in this field has frequently studied and examined the role of one of these two variables in students’ academic achievement. Motivation such as deep and superficial processing strategies, task evaluation, test anxiety, and metacognitive strategies have been studied, and less attention has been paid to examining the direct relationship between self-efficacy and academic achievement .
To identify the relationship between attribution style and academic achievement of high school students in Ilam city with emotional intelligence and socio-economic class moderating.
- Identifying the relationship between the type of attribution and students’ academic achievement.
- Identifying the relationship between the three dimensions of attribution and students’ academic achievement.
- Determining the role of emotional intelligence and socio-economic status in the relationship between attribution style and students’ academic achievement.
- There is a significant relationship between the type of attribution and academic achievement.
- The three dimensions of attribution can predict students’ academic achievement.
- Emotional intelligence and socio-economic status play a moderating role between attribution style and academic achievement.
The present study is applied research in the form of a descriptive-correlational one based on the field collection method. The method of conducting the research was that after collecting the contents and concepts of the research from library sources, questionnaires and valid tests of attribution and emotional intelligence and socio-economic status were prepared and coordinated with education in Ilam for research and distribution. The questionnaire was administered to male and female high school students. After obtaining permission, the questionnaires were distributed among the students in a few sessions. After completing the questionnaires by the students, the completed questionnaires were analyzed.
The study population consists of male and female high school students in Ilam city in the academic year of 2018-19. According to the education statistics in Ilam city, there are 8533 individuals (4447 males and 4086 females).
Sample Size and Sampling Method
According to Morgan table, a sufficient sample size for this study is 368 people. For sampling in this study, a multi-stage clustering method was utilized. In the first stage, 12 high schools (6 high schools for females and 6 high schools for males) were randomly selected from all high schools. In the second stage, 3 classes were randomly selected from each high school, and in the third stage, 10 to 11 students from each class were selected as a sample. A total of 180 girls and 188 boys were selected
Data Collection Tools
The instruments used in this study are the attribution style questionnaire (Paterson, Seligman, Beyer, Abramson, Metalski, 1982), Bar-An emotional intelligence questionnaire and the socio-economic status questionnaire, and the first-semester grade point average as a measure of academic achievement .
Attribution style questionnaire (Peterson, Seligman, Beyer, Abramson and Metalski, 1982)
One of the self-report questionnaires has 12 hypothetical situations, including 6 events with good outcomes and 6 events with bad outcomes .
Situations with Good Outcome
- You meet a friend who praises and admires your appearance.
- Suppose you have amassed a lot of wealth.
- You participate in a big competition, achieve success, and get a lot of admiration.
- Your friend has loving behavior.
- You are very interested in something, and you get it.
- Your father will prescribe more money for you than in the past.
Situations with Bad Outcome
- You go for a walk with a friend, but you do not like it.
- You cannot do all the things that others expect of you.
- A friend of yours comes to you with a problem, and you do not try to help him.
- You give an essential speech to your friends, but your friends react negatively.
- You meet a friend who treats you hostilely.
- You are looking for success. However, you will not succeed.
Subjects were asked to read each event carefully, visualize clearly in their minds that they were in such a situation, and then consider a reason that they believe is the most important and primary cause of that event. Write under each situation (these reasons determine the type of scientific attribution of the individual).
The Attribution Style Questionnaire (ASQ, C: 1982) consists of twelve hypothetical events, including 6 good events and 6 bad events. There are four questions for each event, always in a specific direction. The first question asks about the leading cause of this incident. Although not used in scoring; however the subject needs to answer the following three questions according to the following. These include whether the event is internal or external, fixed or unstable, and general or specific. Scores can be considered for each of the three dimensions. For instance, the internality-externality dimension is obtained from the sum of the scores of the first question. The score of this person’s internality-externality dimension in the position of the sum of these numbers is divisible by 6 ( ). Similarly, the scores are calculated in other dimensions and the position of failure. Also, by adding three-dimensional scores in failure and success situations and the difference between these two sums scores (three-dimensional scores in failures - three-dimensional scores in successes), the most valid criterion for predicting depression is obtained. In this questionnaire, there is a scale about the level of hope obtained from the sum of scores related to the dimension of stability and the dimension of totality.
Validity and Reliability of Attribution Style Questionnaire
Various studies have examined the internality consistency coefficient of the attribution style questionnaire. Bridge reported a Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of 0.8 for the attribution style questionnaire . Hutson also states that although the attribution style questionnaire does not have good validity and reliability in terms of depressive outcomes, it can be used as an appropriate questionnaire in terms of attribution outcomes. He also reported a moderate internal consistency coefficient for this questionnaire . In their report, Herzberger et al., stated that Cronbach’s alpha for the stability dimension was 0.56 for the total dimension and 0.31 for the source dimension. In the present study, Cronbach’s alpha for all questionnaire questions was 0.74 and for the various dimensions is as follows .
Bar- On Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire (EQ-i)
The first Baroque Emotional Intelligence Scale began in 1980 with why some people are more successful in life than others. In this year, the author of the concept of definition and measure of non-cognitive intelligence (Bar-An, 1988) presented the individual. After 17 years of research, the first emotional intelligence scale was created. His emotional intelligence scale has five scales or aspects (interpersonal skills, coping with stress, adaptation, and job creation) and fifteen subscales. The test answers are also set on a 5-point scale in the Likert row (strongly agree, somewhat agree, disagree, and strongly disagree). The test scores are :
Emotional Self-Awareness (ES): The ability to be aware and understand your feelings.
Assertiveness (AS): The ability to express feelings, beliefs, and explicit thoughts and to defend constructive and self-righteous skills
Self-Regard (SR): The ability to be aware of self-perception, self-acceptance, and self-respect.
Self-Actualization (SA): The ability to realize one's potential and do what can be done, striving to do and enjoying.
Independence (In): The ability to direct one's thoughts and actions and free from social tendencies.
Empathy (EM): The ability to be aware of and understand the feelings of others and to value them.
Social – Responsibility (RE): The ability to express oneself as a member with a sense of cooperation, effective and constructive in the group.
Interpersonal Relationship (IR): The ability to build and maintain mutually satisfying relationships recommended by emotional closeness, intimacy, love, and affection.
Reality -Testing (RT): The ability to measure and coordinate between emotionally experienced and something that exists.
Flexibility (FL): The ability to adapt thoughts and behavior to changes in environment and situations.
Problem-Solving (PS): The ability to identify and define problems and create and implement effective and potential solutions.
Stress Tolerance (ST): The ability to withstand events, stressful situations, intense emotions without squatting or actively and positively coping with stress.
Impulse Control (IC): The ability to withstand or reduce an impulse, drive, or test activity, without fitting or actively facing and recording pressure.
Optimism (OP): The ability to look at life shrewdly and reinforce positive attitudes, even in the face of adversity and negative emotions.
Happiness (HA): The ability to feel happy with one's life, to enjoy oneself and others, to have positive, explicit, fun, and humorous feelings.
The Intrapersonal skills scale includes self and self-awareness scales, assertiveness, self-respect, self-actualization, and independence. The Interpersonal skills scale includes the empathy, social responsibility, and Interpersonal Relationships scales. The stress coping scale includes the subscales of stress tolerance and impulse control. The adaptation scale includes the subscales of flexibility, problem-solving, and reality testing, and the overall mood scale includes the subscales of happiness and optimism. This questionnaire has 90 questions, the first transcultural questionnaire to assess emotional intelligence. This test was carried out in three stages in Iran. After making some changes in the main text of the questionnaire, deleting or changing some questions and rearranging the questions of each scale, the questionnaire was reduced from 117 questions to 90 questions; regarding the quality of psychometrics, the essential measures were taken, and in the third stage of implementation, information analysis was performed in the following areas .
Internal consistency refers to how all questions measure the same structural scale. This method estimates the reliability by measuring the content consistency of the implemented scale with a single questionnaire. P-scores indicate a direct and significant relationship between the questions of each scale and the overall score of that scale, meaning that the question in question measures what the relevant scale intends.
Cronbach's alpha was reported to be 93% for the whole test. This amount (alpha calculated in the third stage) is the same as the alpha calculated in the second stage of the test .
GhodratNama Socio-Economic Status Questionnaire
The tool for measuring socioeconomic status was Ghodrat-Nama Questionnaire, which includes 4 components (i.e., income, economic class, housing status and education) and a total of 6 demographic questions and 5 main questions . The scale of questions in this five-choice questionnaire and the scoring method are very low = 1, and very high = 5, respectively. Eslami et al. confirmed the face and content validity of the questionnaire by 12 sports experts. Likewise, by using Cronbach's alpha test, the reliability of the questionnaire was 83%, which is a good number .
Data Analysis Methods
Data analysis of the questionnaires will be conducted using version 22 of SPSS statistical software. Two methods of descriptive statistics and inferential statistics will be used to analyze the data. Descriptive statistics include frequency tables of gender, age, level of education, parents' education, grade point average, attribution styles, and descriptive statistics of emotional intelligence and inferential statistics including Kolmogorov-Sminov test, Pearson correlation test, multivariate analysis of variance (M ANOVA) and Univariate analysis of variance (A NOVA) has been used to investigate the three dimensions of attribution and their relationship with gender. We have also examined the relationship between academic achievement and the type of attribution style using multivariate and univariate analysis of variance. However, for further study and search of the three dimensions of attribution that predict academic achievement to some extent, regression will be used to achieve an acceptable result through the equations obtained in this way.
The descriptive research findings show the following:
As Table 1 indicates, from 368 sample students, 188 (51.9%) are males and 180 (48.1%) are females.
Table 2 demonstrates the descriptive statistics of the sample age. The mean and standard deviation of students' agis equal to 17.10 years and 2.411 years, respectively, and the age range of the sample is between 15 to 19 years.
Descriptive Statistics of Main Variables by Research Group
Table 3 indicates the mean and standard deviation of attribution styles after success and failure for the whole sample. As the findings of the table show, the mean and standard deviation of temporary/permanent attribution after failure with (4.30 and 0.89), respectively, the highest average and mean and standard deviation of general/specific attribution after failure with (4.00 and 0.96) have the lowest average.
The results illustrated that the mean and standard deviation of the scores of the economic status of the whole sample is equal to (18.50 and 3.188) of the range of economic scores between 5 and 25, respectively. However, the mean and standard deviation of the total GPA scores of the sample is equal to (16.30 and 3.53), respectively, and the minimum and maximum GPA of the total students are equal to (10 and 19.50), respectively. The mean and standard deviation of emotional intelligence scores are the total samples equal to (290.85 and 33.665), respectively, the minimum and maximum scores of emotional intelligence are equal to (161 and 395), respectively (Table 4).
Examination of the Normality in Main Variables
Kolmogorov-Smirnov test was applied to test the normality or abnormality of the research data. The values of Kolmogorov-Smirnov statistic for attribution styles, GPA, and emotional intelligence are shown in Table 5: Emotional intelligence is higher than 0.05, none of which is statistically significant. In other words, the assumption of normal data is confirmed, which indicates that parametric tests can be used.
Investigation of research hypotheses
The first hypothesis
There is a significant relationship between the type of attribution and academic achievement.
Among the various dimensions of attribution styles, internality-externality style in non-desired situations negatively correlated with academic achievement at an error level of less than 1% (R=-0.14 and p. 0.01). Likewise, there was a positive correlation between general/specific attribution styles in desired situations with academic achievement at an error level of less than 1% (R = 0.17 and p 0 0.01) (Table 6).
The three dimensions of attribution can predict students' academic achievement.
The results of the regression test are indicated in the table below.
The regression analysis results indicated in Table 7 demonstrate that the F value and significance level of F regression test is equal to 9.522 and 0.001, respectively, indicating that the regression model is appropriate and significant for the test, i.e., at the error level. Less than 1% of students’ attribution styles can predict students’ academic performance. According to the value of R2 statistics entered in the model, 5% of the variance of academic achievement is explained by attribution styles. To examine the intensity and effect of each variable on students ‘academic achievement, beta coefficients were also calculated, and the results are indicated in Table 8.
Based on the results of the above table, the t value corresponding to the impact of desired general/specific attribution on the prediction of students’ academic performance is equal to 3.730, and the significance level of the test is equal to 0.001, which is also significant at the level of error less than 1%. Also, the t value corresponding to the non-desired consistent/ inconsistent impact on the prediction of students’ academic performance is equal to 3.130, and the significance level of the test is equal to 0.002, which is significant at the error level less than 1%; in other words, the factor of general/specific attribution is desired in a positive direction, and consistent/ inconsistent attribution are non-desired in a negative direction. Percentages play a role in predicting students’ academic performance (Table 8).
Emotional intelligence and socio-economic status play a moderating role between attribution style and academic achievement.
Table 9 indicates that the fifth hypothesis test results are conducted in hierarchical regression model analysis. First attribution styles are entered in the model, and in the second step, emotional intelligence and economic status are entered into the model and their role in correlation. It is measured between the two variables of attribution styles and academic performance.
The F value and the significance level of F in the regression test for the first step are equal to 32.172 and 0.000, respectively, which indicates that the regression model is proper and meaningful for the test, as well as the F value and the significance level of F regression test for this step. The second is equal to 38.084 and 0.000, respectively, indicating that the regression model is suitable and meaningful for the test (Table 9).
The results indicate that in the first stage, the attribution style variable enters the model, the significance level of the test is equal to 0.000, which is significant at the error level of less than 1%, the modified determination coefficient is equal to 0.167, which indicates the attribution style is approx. Explains 16% of the variance in the academic performance variable. In the second step, the variables of emotional intelligence and economic status are entered into the model. Both are significant at an error level of less than 1%. To test the hypothesis, the interaction of emotional intelligence and attribution style was added to the model, which is also significant at an error level of less than 1%. (Β = 0.414). As a result, in addition to the fact that there is a significant correlation between attribution style and academic performance, emotional intelligence reinforces this correlation. Then, the interaction of economic status and documentary style was added to the model, which is also significant at an error level of less than 5% (Β = 0.268). Consequently, considering that the economic situation is effective on academic performance but has not increased the effect of documentary-style on academic performance (Table 10).
The study's first hypothesis was “the existence of a relationship between the type of attribution and academic achievement” the results indicated that among the various dimensions of attribution styles, internality-externality style in non-desired situations is negatively correlated with academic achievement at an error level less than 1%. There is a positive correlation between general/specific attribution style in desired situations and academic achievement at an error level of less than 1%. Since the style of internality-externality attribution in unpleasant situations (failure) demonstrate a significant but negative relationship with academic achievement, i.e., students who attribute their failures to internal factors are at a low level of academic achievement, and between the general attribution style was observed in pleasant situations (success) with positive and significant academic achievement; that is, students who attribute their success to general factors have higher academic achievement. These findings are based on the results of pervious works [17-30]. On the subject of self-concept (academic self-concept) believed that students who attribute their inner failures and successes to externality factors form a negative self-image in them, a negative self-concept is formed in them. This negative self-concept causes them not to show the necessary motivation and effort to do academic activities and avoid further assignments. In a study, Georgina (2004) also showed that students control their academic performance in dimensions of attribution, such as the core of control in internality-externality attribute consistency and controllability. In a way, people with high academic achievement attribute their success to internality, consistent and controllable factors such as effort, while people with low academic achievement attribute their failure to externality, inconsistency, and uncontrollable factors such as difficulty; however, the results of regression analysis indicate that the regression model is appropriate and meaningful for the test, i.e., the students’ attribution styles can predict students' academic performance. Based on the value of R2 statistics entered in the model, 5% of the variance of academic achievement is explained by attribution styles. According to the regression coefficient table results, the t value corresponding to the effect of desired general/specific attribution on the prediction of students’ academic performance at an error level less than 1% is also significant. Similarly, the t value corresponding to the non-desired consistent/inconsistent effect on the prediction of students’ academic performance at an error level less than 1% is significant; in other words, the factors of general/specific attribution are pleasant in a positive direction, and consistent/inconsistent attribution are non-desired in a negative direction. 2% are involved in predicting students’ academic performance. Finally, the hypothesis that “emotional intelligence and socio-economic status play a moderating role between attribution style and academic achievement” was tested by hierarchical regression. In the first stage, the attribution style variable was entered into the model, which is significant at less than 1% error level. Economically, standardized beta value for the mediating variable of emotional intelligence (0.131) and the variable of attribution style (0.268) was entered into the model, both of which were significant. Then, the interaction of emotional intelligence and attribution style was added to the model, which increased the effect coefficient of attributive style. The economic effect of attribution style on academic performance has not changed. This is in line with numerous studies that show a positive relationship between emotional intelligence and academic achievement. Salovy and Meyer (2010), in the revised model of emotional intelligence, identified four components of emotional perception, emotional facilitation, emotional cognition, and emotional management for this structure, which reinforce and complement each other's role by interaction and proper contexts for Provides academic success. Students with higher emotional intelligence also have more pleasing general/specific attribution styles than students with lower emotional intelligence, which in turn indirectly enhances students' academic achievement; however, since the economic status of the family affects the academic performance of students, but cannot affect the relationship between attribution style and academic achievement, and attributive styles are more influenced by theory of mind and thinking styles than socio-economic status. The results of this hypothesis are consistent with the results of the research of Morris and Tigman , Henry, Martinco, and Pierce (1993), and Weiner (1998).
According to the research findings, the following implications are suggested:
- In situations where the students face success and failure, the feedback they receive from influential people such as parents and teachers is significant. Parents and teachers should attribute successful situations to internality, consistent and general factors by providing correct feedback. In situations of students’ attribution failure, they should be directed to external, inconsistent, and specific factors so that their self-regard does not decrease.
- Teachers, educators, and parents should refrain from comparing children with each other regardless of their abilities and talents; since children may attribute their failures to their inability to compare with others, which is an internality, consistent, and uncontrollable document, if repeated, this will lead to incompatible attribution.
- Avoid competitive structures in the classroom and family to not provide a basis for people to judge their abilities.
- It is suggested that the results of this research and similar researches be made available to school principals, education officials, welfare centers, and organs related to student education so that the results of this research and similar research can be used and only to the extent of research do not leave a comment.
Based on the research results, it is recommended to the parents of students, teachers, and parents of schools to pay more attention to emotional issues and strengthen students’ emotional intelligence and think of appropriate solutions to strengthen it.
Citation: M. Hojjati*, Investigating the Relationship between Attribution Style and Academic Achievement of High School Students in Ilam with the Moderating Role of Emotional Intelligence and Socio-Economic Class. Int. J. Adv. Stu. Hum. Soc. Sci. 2022, 11 (3):154-167.
Copyright © 2022 by SPC (Sami Publishing Company) + is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License(CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.