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See detailDimensional and Social Comparison Effects on Domain-Specific Academic Self-Concepts and Interests with First- and Third-Grade Students
van der Westhuizen, Lindie UL; Arens, Katrin; Keller, Ulrich UL et al

Scientific Conference (2019, November 06)

Academic self-concepts (ASCs) are self-perceptions of one’s own academic abilities. The internal/external frame of reference (I/E) model (Marsh, 1986) explains the formation of domain-specific ASCs ... [more ▼]

Academic self-concepts (ASCs) are self-perceptions of one’s own academic abilities. The internal/external frame of reference (I/E) model (Marsh, 1986) explains the formation of domain-specific ASCs through a combination of social (i.e. comparing one’s achievement in one domain with the achievement of others in the same domain) and dimensional (i.e. comparing one’s achievement in one domain with one’s achievement in another domain) comparisons. This results into positive achievement-self-concept relations within the math and verbal domains, but into negative achievement-self-concept relations across these domains. The generalized internal/external frame of reference (GI/E) model (Möller, Müller-Kalthoff, Helm, Nagy, & Marsh, 2015) extends the I/E model to the formation of other domain-specific academic self-beliefs such as interest. Research on the validity of the (G)I/E model for elementary school children is limited, especially for first-graders. This study examined the associations between verbal and math achievement and corresponding domain-specific self-concepts and interests for first-graders and third-graders. Two fully representative Luxembourgish first-grader cohorts and two fully representative third-graders cohorts (N=21,192) were used. The analyses were based on structural equation modeling. The findings fully supported the (G)I/E model for third-graders: Achievement was positively related to self-concept and interest within matching domains. Negative relations were found between achievement and self-concept and between achievement and interest across domains. For first-graders, achievement was positively related to self-concept and interest within matching domains. However, the majority of cross-domain relations were non-significant, except for the negative path between math achievement and verbal interest. Hence, while the formation of domain-specific ASCs and interests seem to rely on social and dimensional comparisons for third-graders, only social comparisons seem to be in operation for first-graders. Gender and cohort invariance was established for both grade levels. The findings are discussed within the framework of ASC differentiation and dimensional comparison theory applied to elementary school students. [less ▲]

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