Background: Self-esteem, attributional styles, and self-handicapping play key roles in students’ individual and social performances. Through determining interactional relations among these factors, parents and schools can plan for improving students’ performances.
Objectives: Hence, this study aimed to investigate the relationship of self-esteem and attributional styles with self-handicapping among primary school students.
Methods: The statistical population of this study comprised of 3rd to 5th grades of primary school students in Zahedan, during the 2015 - 2016 academic year. The research sample consisted of 365 primary students (154 boys and 211 girls) aged 9 to 11 years old who were selected using the random cluster sampling method. The research measurement tools were the Seligman et al. Children’s attributional style questionnaire, the rosenberg self-esteem scale, and the Midgley et al. self-handicapping scale. The statistical analyses were performed via SPSS 16using both descriptive and inferential statistics including the correlation test and the Inter regression analysis.
Results: The descriptive results indicated that the means of the pessimistic (9.15), optimistic (9.39) attribution styles, and self-handicapping (7.11) among the students were lower than the nominal mean of the questionnaires, however, the mean of self-esteem (31.20) was higher than the nominal mean score. Furthermore, results showed that self-handicapping was significantly and positively related to the pessimistic attribution style and it was significantly and negatively correlated with self-esteem. In addition, the results of the regression analysis showed that self-handicapping was a negative predictor of self-esteem (P ≤ 0.001) and was a positive predictor of the pessimistic attributional style (P = 0.03).
Conclusions: Therefore, given the obtained results, students who had high self-esteem experienced low levels of self-handicapping. Moreover, students who applied the optimistic attributional style had high academic achievement and low self-handicapping. In this regard, methods aimed at improving self-esteem and the optimistic attributional style can be used to promote students’ educational statuses.