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ABSTRACT The cognitive-developmental formulation of self-image disparity holds that an increasing disparity between the real and ideal self-image is due to (a) increasing differentiation of the real from the ideal self with maturity and (b) the increased capacity for incorporation of social mores with a greater propensity for guilt as a result. Guilt and self-image disparity were assessed in 47 young adults in Study 1, and in 108 children, of varying intellectual abilities, in the 5th, 8th, and 11th grades in Study 2. In both studies, guilt was related to self-image disparity. At all age levels, guilt was related to a higher ideal self-image. Guilt was related to a higher real self-image among 5th graders, but not among older individuals. Brighter children had a higher ideal self-image, greater self-image disparity, and marginally more guilt than children of average intellectual abilities. Guilt and self-image disparity were not related to grade level. The pattern of findings indicated that self-image is influenced by both cognitive-developmental and experiential determinants.