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ERIC Number: EJ1017853
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Dec
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1696-2095
Gender and Achievement Differences in Secondary Students' Verbal Self-Concepts: A Closer Look beyond Bivariate Comparison
Faber, Gunter
Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology, v11 n3 p665-692 Dec 2013
Introduction: Against the background of contradictory research findings in the field the present study aimed at unraveling the structural complexities of gender differences in secondary students' verbal self-concepts and, thus, analyzing possible gender x achievement interaction effects in the L1 German and L2 English language subject. According to an internal distress perspective significantly depressed self-concept scores for the female learners, in particular, at the low achievement level were assumed. Method: Data were gathered in a sample of 256 ninth grade students from German inner-city grammar schools. For measuring students' L1 and L2 self-concept two subject-specific scales were administered. For measuring their achievement in each language subject teacher competence ratings as well as (self-reported) marks were used. With respect to the L1 German language subject, only a significant main effect of the achievement variable was found. Neither a gender effect nor an achievement gender interaction could be demonstrated. Therefore, interindividually existing self-concept differences in favor of the female learners appeared to largely reflect their better achievement in the native language subject. Results: With respect to the L2 language subject, a significant interaction effect between the achievement and gender variable occurred. Within the low achieving subgroup the female learners displayed substantially lower self-concept scores than their male counterparts--at least concerning the latest mark criterion. Hence, they more strongly suffered from internal distress. Discussion: Especially in the L2 English language subject a gender x achievement effect could significantly explain differences in the learners' self-concept. Consequently, these differences cannot be merely ascribed to a gendered view of language subjects--which commonly favors the female learners. Gender stereotyping effects will operate in a more complex manner. In particular, they appear to affect the students' self-concept not primarily as a matter of subject rather as a matter of cognitive-motivational processing in the case of individually cumulated failure experiences--thus evidently unfavoring the female learners. However, the findings considerably differed across both the L1 and the L2 language subject and, thus, still need further clarification.
University of Almeria, Education & Psychology I+D+i. Faculty of Psychology Department of Educational and Developmental Psychology, Carretera de Sacramento s/n, 04120 LaCanada de San Urbano, Almeria, Spain. Tel: +34-950-015354; Fax: +34-950-015083; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Journal Articles
Education Level: Secondary Education; Grade 9
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A