Masters Thesis

Children’s perceptions of competence and self-concept

This paper examines the interactions of self-efficacy and self-concept in a mixed method study. Ten fourth grade children from a small rural elementary school were interviewed in 2003 regarding their self-perceptions of competence. These children were interviewed again in 2011 as high school seniors. As seniors, they also completed the Multidimensional Self-concept Scale (Bracken, 1992) and a modified Multidimensional Scales of Perceived Self-Efficacy (Bandura, 1990b). Correlation and multiple regression analyses were conducted to examine the relationships between two self-efficacy domains (academic achievement and self-regulated learning) and the three measures of self-concept (global, academic and competence). Measures of self-efficacy were related, as were measures of self-concept. Self-regulated learning self-efficacy and competency self-concept were significantly related at r=.82, p≤.01. Students in 2011 made predictions about, listened to, and responded to the audio recordings of the 2003 interviews. These responses were coded for comparative analysis across questions and across time. The relationship between the study participants’ responses and the theoretical models of self-efficacy, expectancy-value theory and self-concept are discussed. Notable stability in student responses over time was observed. Suggestions for further research are discussed.

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