Our Research Story

Fewer than four in ten kids are confident in themselves by 8th grade

That’s what we determined after two years of researching the state of confidence in kids. As parents and educators ourselves, we knew that there was a crisis of confidence in our youth, but decades of data made it clear that:

  • Confidence decreases gradually for kids during late elementary school,

  • Confidence rapidly declines into the middle school years, and

  • Confidence is lower among this generation of kids than ever before

(check out the Why Confidence page for all the data)

In looking for answers, we found work that investigated parts of confidence like self-worth or self-efficacy, but we wanted to understand how all of the aspects that go into confidence look for today’s kids. Relying on others’ research wasn’t enough, so we decided to confirm these findings and fill in the gaps on our own.

Our National Confidence Survey

In April of 2023, we surveyed a nationally representative group of 1,200+ kids and their families. 

(Read more about our survey methodology at the bottom of this page).

We confirmed that what researchers had been seeing - that confidence was on the decline as early as elementary school - was correct.

But we also found something even more interesting: there were differences in the ways kids expressed their confidence. It wasn’t just “high” or “low.” We found patterns in how kids felt about confidence that we thought might be able to help us design a program that meets kids exactly where they are.

The Six Confidence Types

Our survey data provided insight into the three core areas of confidence, but we also learned how kids defined confidence in their own words, what their biggest confidence challenges looked like, and how their parents thought about all of this.

We have enough data to write academic papers and power dissertations for years (call us!), but more importantly we learned that there were six similar patterns to how kids responded to questions about their confidence. One group of kids was high in growth mindset, but low in self-compassion. Another scored higher in purpose than any other category.

(read more on our Six Confidence Types page)

We’ve been investigating these six confidence types ever since and have identified unique differences in regard to age, gender, and even neurodiversity that have enabled us to understand confidence in our kids more fully than ever before.

Building Legends

Armed with our confidence survey data insights, we’ve designed an innovative assessment approach that identifies the unique confidence strengths and weaknesses for any kid.

Our entire program has been built to address the specific confidence needs of young people, and now the path that they take through Legends will be data-informed and custom-tailored based on their confidence type.

We believe that confidence is a skill that can be taught, measured, and improved because we’ve done it. We’ll continue these exciting lines of research to make sure that every kid lives up to their Legendary potential, and encourage you to follow our work and reach out to connect if you’d like to join our mission.

Check out the articles we’ve written on the Our Experts page.

Appendix: National Confidence Survey Methodology

We used an online platform to survey 1,250 families with kids between ages 7-12. This sample size provided a core nationally-representative sample and oversampled for families from minority populations such as Black/African-American, Hispanic/Latino, and Asian-American. This ensured we would be able to speak more accurately to any cultural differences in confidence among kids, and provided a ±3% margin of error in our survey.

The survey was composed of questions adapted or sourced from existing research-validated measures, and kids responded how often (never, rarely, sometimes, usually, always) different confidence statements were true for them (kids are better with thinking about actions and frequency than whether they “strongly agree” to things).

(check out a full list of references on our Confidence Guarantee page)