Cover: Self-Concept


The Interplay of Theory and Methods

Published 1981

by Richard J. Shavelson, Roger E. Bolus


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The enhancement of students' self-concepts is valued as a goal of education and as a moderator and perhaps a cause of scholastic achievement. Conceptual and methodological problems, however, plague research and evaluations involving self-concept. This paper attempts to advance self-concept theory by testing some of its critical assumptions and presents recent methods that integrate measurement, statistics, and theory into one conceptual analytical framework. The authors conclude that self-concept is multi-faceted construct and that it can be distinguished from academic achievement, although the two are correlated. Self-concept is a hierarchical construct with general self-concept at the apex and situation-specific self-concept at the base. The study results suggest the causal predominance of self-concept over achievement. Further research is suggested.

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