Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Irvine

UC Irvine Previously Published Works bannerUC Irvine

Motivation and Achievement of Gifted Children in East Asia and the United States


Analyses were conducted of data from 5 studies related to the academic achievement and cognitive abilities of students in Japan, Taiwan, Mainland China, and the United States. Cross-sectional and longitudinal data were available for students in kindergarten and grades 1, 5, and 11. The analyses compared the top 10 percent of students with the 10 percent of the students whose scores clustered most closely to the average on (a) tests of cognitive ability and then on (b) tests of mathematics achievement. The high ability students in Asian samples outperformed high ability American students in mathematics at grade level 1, 5, and 11 but not in reading. Parents of high ability students in the United States had a higher opinion of their children's ability and performance than did Japanese parents of high ability students. Many factors related to high ability and/or to high achievement are discussed, including mothers’ and students'evaluations of the students’ abilities and personality characteristics, attributional beliefs, sources of motivation, psychological well-being, and demographic factors. The relation of cognitive ability to academic achievement is also discussed. © 1993, The Association of the Gifted. All rights reserved.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View