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Self-Concept, Interest, and Achievement Within and Across Math and Verbal Domains in First and Third Graders

Tue, April 21, 2:15 to 3:45pm, Virtual Room


The generalized internal/external frame-of-reference (G)I/E model explains the formation of domain-specific motivational-affective constructs through social and dimensional comparisons. We examined the associations between verbal and math achievement and corresponding domain-specific academic self-concepts (ASCs) and interests for first-graders and third-graders (N=21,192). Positive achievement-self-concept and achievement-interest relations were found within matching-domains in both grades, while negative cross-domains achievement-self-concept and achievement-interest relations were only found for third-graders. These findings suggest that 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 in both grade levels. Findings are discussed within the framework of ASC differentiation and dimensional comparison theory.