The communicated self.

Exploring the interaction between self and social context

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Abstract

This study explored the influence of social identity and social context on achievement in a counterstereotypical domain. A group of 114 inner-city African American and Mexican American 12-year-old students completed Kuhn and McPartland's (1954) 20-statement ‘Who Am I’ questionnaire and Rosenberg's (1965) self-esteem scale. Analysis of self-descriptions revealed that success in a counterstereotypical domain (e.g., academic achievement) at age 18 was predicted by a more elaborated self-concept, a more elaborated self-schema within the counterstereotypical domain, and more positive self-descriptions. A more individuated self-description was marginally related to success. Results suggest that opportunities to communicate within a variety of contexts may permit the development of a more complex and adaptable self-concept and thereby facilitate achievement in a counterstereotypical domain. Notably, self-esteem did not predict success.

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