Sex Roles

, Volume 9, Issue 12, pp 1171–1182

Women's attribution patterns and their relation to achievement: An examination of within-sex differences


  • Gail Crombie
    • Concordia University

DOI: 10.1007/BF00303100

Cite this article as:
Crombie, G. Sex Roles (1983) 9: 1171. doi:10.1007/BF00303100


Research in female achievement and attribution behavior has frequently produced inconsistent and contradictory data. The inconclusive results may be partially due to the consideration of females as a homogeneous group. The present study separated college women on the basis of their achievement level (i.e., over- and underachievement) and sex-role orientation into four groups and examined within-sex differences in attributions. Women who were androgynous and high in achievement level tended to attribute their academic success more to ability than did the other three groups. When the relative usage of ability and effort was examined, women attributed their academic success to effort more than to ability. Differences in the usage of ability and effort attributions, however, were not related to differences in the women's actual achievement performance.

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© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1983