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30-04-2020 | Empirical Research

A Multilevel Analysis of the Importance of School Climate for the Trajectories of Students’ Self-concept and Self-esteem Throughout the Middle School Transition

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence
Auteurs:
Vítor Alexandre Coelho, George G. Bear, Patrícia Brás
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Abstract

Understanding which environmental factors influence the trajectory of self-concept and self-esteem during middle school transition may help schools better support students during this period. This short longitudinal study examined the influence of students’ perceptions of school climate upon the trajectory of students’ self-concept and self-esteem during middle school transition. Students in 25 classes from four schools (N = 404; Mage = 9.40, SD = 0.67) completed self-report measures of self-concept and self-esteem at four time points: twice before (fourth grade) and twice after middle school transition (fifth grade). The results showed that students with more positive perceptions of school climate in the beginning of fifth grade displayed more positive trajectories in self-concept and self-esteem. Students from larger fourth grade classes had more positive trajectories of social self-concept compared to those from smaller classes. The findings highlight the importance of school climate in the development of self-concept and self-esteem during middle school transition.

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