The internal/external frame of reference model of academic self-concept formation

Extension to a foreign language and Chinese vocational students

Authored by: Lan Yang

Routledge International Handbook of Schools and Schooling in Asia

Print publication date:  May  2018
Online publication date:  May  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138908499
eBook ISBN: 9781315694382
Adobe ISBN:


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The study reported in this chapter had a twofold aim. First, this study aimed to test the relationships between academic achievement and academic self-concept based on the extended internal/external frame of reference (I/E) model (Marsh, Kong, & Hau, 2001) with a sample of Chinese vocational students. Second, this study moved forward to test this model by incorporating recent advances in the multidimensional structure of academic self-concept (i.e., its domain-specific structure and a further separation between competence-affect components within each domain). Participants were over 900 Year one vocational students in mainland China. The structural equation modeling (SEM) approach was adopted in analysing the data. In line with previous research, the domain-specific relationship between academic achievement and academic self-concept was supported. A further analysis by separating competence and affect components within each domain of academic self-concept in the I/E model showed that these paths from math, Chinese and English achievements to matching affect self-perceptions were stronger than those paths to corresponding competence self-perceptions. To some extent, these patterns differ from those found in previous studies among students in Western cultures. These interesting findings of the extended I/E model found in Chinese students were discussed in relation to the Chinese cultural model of learning. Implications of the current study for student learning, self-concept research, and school effectiveness are also discussed.

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