Academic journal article Journal for Educational Research Online

Longitudinal Assessment of Elementary School Students' Social Self-Concept in Relation to Social Preference

Academic journal article Journal for Educational Research Online

Longitudinal Assessment of Elementary School Students' Social Self-Concept in Relation to Social Preference

Article excerpt


As part of a longitudinal research project, an instrument for assessing a multifaceted self-concept of social competence (contact, empathy, emotion regulation) of German elementary school children was investigated concerning its psychometric properties. Moreover, reciprocal effects between social preference and self-representation of one's own social skills were analyzed. From the spring of 2007 to the summer of 2010, 26 schools with 54 classes took part in the study that comprised four time points of measurement (T1-T4). A social self-concept questionnaire (SKSozKomp) with 15 items was administered as well as additional questions to assess the peer status.

Confirmatory factor analysis revealed unsatisfying results for the assumed three-dimensional structure of the SKSozKomp at T1. Including only contact and empathy items led to acceptable model fit indices at T1 to T4. Measurement invariance tested stepwise for a two-factor latent state (LS) model showed good model fit even for a model with strong factorial invariance though Chi-square difference testing argued for configurai invariance. A cross-lagged panel model with 2nd order autoregressive paths revealed small but significant paths from social preference to self-concept (T1 to T2 and T3 to T4) but no significant paths from social self-concept to social preference. Results and limitations of the study are discussed.


Social competence; Social self-concept; SEM; Elementary school

Soziales Selbstkonzept und soziale Präferenz: Eine Längsschnittanalyse im Grundschulalter


Als Teil einer Längsschnittstudie werden psychometrische Eigenschaften eines Verfahrens zur Erfassung eines dreidimensionalen Selbstkonzepts sozialer Kompetenz (Kontakt, Empathie, Emotionsregulation) für Grundschüler des deutschen Schulsystems berichtet und mögliche Wechselwirkungen zwischen sozialer Präferenz und dem Selbstkonzept eigener sozialer Fertigkeiten analysiert. Vom Frühjahr 2007 bis Sommer 2010 nahmen 26 Schulen mit 54 Klassen an der vier Messzeitpunkte (T1-T4) umfassenden Studie teil. Ein Fragebogen zum sozialen Selbstkonzept (SKSozKomp) mit 15 Items und Fragen zur Erfassung des Peerstatus wurden verwendet.

Konfirmatorische Faktorenanalysen ergaben ungünstige Ergebnisse zur angenommenen Dreifaktorenstruktur des SKSozKomp zu Tl. Die ausschließliche Verwendung der Kontakt- und Empathie-Items erbrachte akzeptable Anpassung zu Ti bis T4. Eine stufenweise Prüfung der Messinvarianz für ein zweifaktorielles Latent State Modell (LS) zeigte sogar bei starker faktorieller Invarianz gute Modellanpassung, dennoch legte ein Chi2 -Differenzentest konfigurale Invarianz nahe. Ein Cross-Lagged Panel-Modell mit autoregressiven Pfaden zweiter Ordnung ergab geringe, signifikante Pfade von sozialer Präferenz zum Selbstkonzept (Ti auf T2 und T3 auf T4), jedoch keine Pfade vom Selbstkonzept zur sozialen Präferenz. Die Ergebnisse und Grenzen der Studie werden diskutiert.


Soziale Kompetenz; Soziales Selbstkonzept; SEM; Grundschule

1. Schooling as an opportunity to develop social competence

Family environment as well as schooling can be seen as a major developmental and learning opportunity for social competence. In the first instance, social competence may function as precondition for school readiness (e.g., Hasselhorn & Lohaus, 2008) and academic achievement respectively (e.g., Welsh, Parke, Widaman, & O'Neil, 2001). Additionally, the school-age years of middle childhood and later on are influenced by various contacts and relationships with peers, especially of the same age (Hartup, 1992; Rubin, Bukowski, & Parker, 2006, p. 592 f.). Interacting in classrooms and receiving feedback on social behavior can foster students' development of social skills (Gresham, 2001), acquisition of social knowledge, social information processing (Crick & Dodge, 1994), and the development of self-concept of their respective abilities (e. …

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