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.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.