Competence and affect dimensions of self-concept among higher education students: a factorial validation study of an academic subject-specific self-concept

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Abstract

A hierarchical and multi-dimensional model of self-concept is well-validated. Despite increasing evidence that self-concept comprises two latent factors related to perceptions of ‘competence’ and ‘affect’, many researchers continue to examine the impact of a unitary self-concept on educational outcomes. This study explores evidence for a 2-factor academic subject-specific self-concept factor structure and examines the association between these factors with self-efficacy in a sample of higher education students. Participants from two studies (N = 314; N = 475) were enrolled in introductory psychology courses. Exploratory (EFA) and confirmatory (CFA) factor analysis examined and confirmed the factor structure of two oblique self-concept factors, reflecting affect and competence, in both studies. Temporal invariance of the 2-factor model was supported. Despite a substantial literature that discriminates between self-concept and self-efficacy, self-efficacy appears to be itself a facet of competency self-concept.

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Burns, R. A., Crisp, D. A., & Burns, R. B. (2018). Competence and affect dimensions of self-concept among higher education students: a factorial validation study of an academic subject-specific self-concept. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 33(4), 649–663. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10212-018-0369-x

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