Understanding When Parental Praise Leads to Optimal Child Outcomes: Role of Perceived Praise Accuracy

Hae In Lee, Young Hoon Kim, Pelin Kesebir, Da Eun Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The current work examined conditions under which parental praise leads to higher academic achievement and better psychological health in schoolchildren. We tested the hypothesis that perceptions of accurate praise, both by parents and by children, are associated with outcomes optimal for children. Our results showed that parents’ perceptions of over- or underpraising (vs. accurately praising) their children’s schoolwork predicted poorer school performance and higher depression in children. From children’s perspectives, perceived under- and overpraise by parents predicted poorer school performance and higher depression. However, when children felt that their parents’ praise was slightly (but not majorly) overstated, this had at least as beneficial effects as when they felt the praise accurately reflected reality. For parents and educators, these results underline the importance of basing praise of children on actual performance and the need to pay careful attention to how praise is perceived by the child.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)679-688
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Psychological and Personality Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Aug 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grant funded by the Korea government (MEST; No. 2012S1A5A8023903).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, © The Author(s) 2016.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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