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The role of domain-specific ability self-concepts in the value students attach to school
Schütte, K., Zimmermann, F., Köller, O.

The role of domain-specific ability self-concepts in the value students attach to school

Learning and Individual Differences. DOI: 10.1016/j.lindif.2016.10.003 (Open Access)

Expanding the prevalent within-domain perspective, the present study investigated how students' domain-specific ability self-concepts relate to the value they attach to school. With a longitudinal design and a sample of N = 1592 lower secondary school students from n = 82 classes in different educational tracks, we tested the hypothesis that mathematics and verbal self-concept interact in predicting how students value school. In addition to statistically significant main effects, structural equation modeling revealed the expected latent interaction effect. Response surface methodology demonstrated that students valued school more highly when their ability self-concepts were high in both domains rather than just one; a single low self-concept predisposed students to attach less value to school just as much as low self-concepts in both domains did. Helping all students frame attainable goals, thereby providing them with opportunities to experience success across domains, might increase the value they attach to school.