Self-Concepts, Domain Values, and Self-Esteem: Relations and Changes at Early Adolescence


  • This research was made possible by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (MH 31724 to Jacquelynne S Eccles), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (HD 17296 to Jacquelynne S Eccles), and the National Science Foundation (BNS 85-10504 to Jacquelynne S Eccles and Allan Wigfield)

Address correspondence and requests to Jacquelynne S Eccles, 5207 Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. MI 48106 We would like to thank our colleagues, Carol Midgley, Harriet Feldlaufer, Jan Jacobs, Dave Klmgel, and Doug Maclver, at the Achievement Research Laboratory, for all their help in collecting and processing the data


ABSTRACT We assessed how children's self-concepts of ability for mathematics, English, social, and physical skills activities, ratings of the importance of these activities, and general self-esteem change across the transition to junior high school Three types of change were assessed change in mean levels, change in stability, and change in relationships Twice each year during the sixth and seventh grades, 1,450 children completed questionnaires Mean levels of children's self-esteem were lowest immediately after the transition, but recovered during seventh grade Self-concept of ability and importance ratings for math and sports activities showed linear declines Self-concept of ability for social activities showed a cubic trend, but importance ratings for social activities declined in a linear fashion Children's self-concepts of ability for math and English became less stable across the junior high transition, whereas beliefs about other activities and general self-esteem were more stable in seventh grade