A study of the relationship of self-concept and achievement of Mexican American children in elementary school



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The objective of this study was to assess the effects of self-concept on the achievement of Mexican American children in elementary school. The sample was selective in that it was composed of Mexican American kindergarten children; no other ethnic nor age group was involved in this study. Data was collected from five school districts in an urban area in Texas. All the children in these five school districts have similar characteristics in terms of their ethnic and socioeconomic background. The sample was administered the Primary Self Concept Inventory and the Inter American Test of General Ability. Findings in this study led to the conclusion that selfconcept affects achievement of Mexican American children in kindergarten. Furthermore, that effect was increased when sex was introduced into the analysis as an independent variable. These two variables, total self-concept and sex, accounted for a statistically significant proportion of the variance. The total self-concept score was delineated into three domains; the personal self, the social self, and the intelligent self and were regressed on achievement. The findings indicate that only the intelligent self was related significantly to achievement. The results of this study imply that the child’s intelligent self should be developed by providing a classroom climate which is challenging and not threatening. Children learn that they are able, not from failure, but from success. Recent studies on mediated learning suggest that the relationship between self-concept and achievement is more complex than previously conceptualized. This study appears to confirm this perspective since the intelligent self rather than the personal or social self, was related to achievement in this sample. Further research could investigate the specific relationship between mediated learning, self-concept, and achievement.



Mexican American children--Education, Elementary, Mexican American children--Psychology