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ERIC Number: EJ994024
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Nov
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 137
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0663
Big Fish in Little Ponds Aspire More: Mediation and Cross-Cultural Generalizability of School-Average Ability Effects on Self-Concept and Career Aspirations in Science
Nagengast, Benjamin; Marsh, Herbert W.
Journal of Educational Psychology, v104 n4 p1033-1053 Nov 2012
Being schooled with other high-achieving peers has a detrimental influence on students' self-perceptions: School-average and class-average achievement have a negative effect on academic self-concept and career aspirations--the big-fish-little-pond effect. Individual achievement, on the other hand, predicts academic self-concept and career aspirations positively. Research from Western and developed countries implies that the negative contextual effect on career aspirations is mediated by academic self-concept. Using data from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2006 (a total of 398,750 15-year-old students from 57 countries), we test the generalizability of this mediation model in science using a general multilevel structural equation modeling framework. Individual achievement was positively related to academic self-concept (52 countries) and career aspirations (42 countries). The positive effect on career aspirations was mediated by self-concept in 54 countries. The negative effects of school-average achievement on self-concept (50 countries) and career aspirations (31 countries) also generalized well. After controlling for self-concept at both the individual and the school level, there were significant indirect contextual effects in 34 countries--evidence for mediation of the contextual effect of school-average achievement on career intentions by academic self-concept. (Contains 4 tables and 5 figures.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail: order@apa.org; Web site: http://www.apa.org/publications
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Program for International Student Assessment