All children possess a motive to ‘master’ the various tasks and problems that they face. Without mastery motivation, it is doubtful whether children would make progress in cognitive, social communicative and other domains. Although all children possess this motivation, it will vary according to inherited dispositions and to environmental experiences. This makes mastery motivation a key factor in understanding later developmental and educational achievement.

Concentrating on pre-school children, this volume, originally published in 1993, brought together current research work and thinking concerned with mastery motivation at the time. New ideas are presented about the way mastery is related to other developmental processes such as self-concepts and attention. There are discussions and findings about innovations in the methods of assessing mastery. Another important theme present in this volume, is the way in which features of social interaction, attachment and the environment influence the development of mastery motivation.

With a broad range of international contributors, this title will still be of interest to developmental psychologists and educationalists, and advance students in these fields.

chapter 1|16 pages

Mastery motivation

An introduction to theories and issues

part II|106 pages

Conceptualization and measurement

part III|64 pages

Attachment and social processes