The self in action: An emerging link between self-beliefs and behaviors in middle childhood

Pamela E. Davis-Kean, Justin Jager, W. Andrew Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


For many decades, an important goal of psychological research has been to understand the link between self-beliefs and behaviors and functioning. This article considers converging evidence from diverse fields that a developmental shift in this linkage occurs in middle childhood-that, around age 8, children become more likely to use knowledge about their own selves to actively evaluate and reflect on their thoughts and behavior. This shift has implications for understanding the importance of potential age-related cognitive changes in the understanding of the self; it also has methodological implications regarding the appropriate age to collect self-evaluative data on young children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)184-188
Number of pages5
JournalChild Development Perspectives
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009



  • Developmental changes
  • Middle childhood
  • Self-efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

Cite this