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The Relationships between Self-Related Perceptions, Motivation, Aspirations and Achievements in an Academic Setting

HUGHES, Amanda (2011) The Relationships between Self-Related Perceptions, Motivation, Aspirations and Achievements in an Academic Setting. Doctoral thesis, Staffordshire University.

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ABSTRACT
This thesis explores the nature of the self and how the various self-perception constructs –
self-esteem, self-concept, and self-efficacy – contribute to academic functioning. The
research was undertaken in three stages. The first was designed to examine how the self is
represented. Bandura’s Multidimensional Scales of Perceived Self-Efficacy (1990) and
Harter’s Self-Perception Profile for Adolescents (1988) were utilised to examine the extent
to which self-efficacy and competency-related elements of the self-concept are
independent constructs. Factor analysis of data provided by secondary school students
revealed that when measured using domain-specific measures such as these, self-efficacy
and competency self-concept do not represent totally separate, distinct aspects of the self.
The second stage was designed to examine how representations of the self relate to
academic performance, intrinsic motivation, and occupational and educational aspirations.
Taking account of past academic performance and other factors that might impact on the
self-perception–academic outcome relationship, self-efficacy was shown to be a better
predictor of these outcomes than either of the other two self constructs. Self-esteem was
the least predictive. These findings suggest that self-efficacy and self-concept, but not selfesteem,
are important for the development of academic functioning.
The third stage of this research was designed to examine whether interventions can have a
positive effect on how the self is represented, and if so, whether this also impacts on
academic functioning. This thesis used a widely-used and Government-supported
intervention programme to explore this issue in a real-world context. There were positive
effects on some aspects of self-concept but not on any other variables. These effects were
not associated with any changes in the academic outcomes. The reasons why this
intervention did not have a wider impact are explored, and the practical and theoretical
implications of the findings are discussed. This research provides a clearer understanding
about where educators and education policy-makers should focus their efforts if the aim is
to enhance self-related perceptions in school.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: C800 Psychology
X900 Others in Education
Faculty: PhD
Depositing User: Jane CHADWICK
Date Deposited: 06 May 2014 15:39
Last Modified: 07 May 2014 12:40
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/1895

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