Social Psychology of Education

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 113–122 | Cite as

Achievement and self-concept of students with learning disabilities

  • Jens MöllerEmail author
  • Lilian Streblow
  • Britta Pohlmann


The internal/external frame of reference (I/E) model by Marsh (Am Educ Res J 23:129–149, 1986) assumes that, besides social comparisons with their classmates, students engage in intraindividual, dimensional comparisons, comparing their own achievement in one subject with their achievement in other subjects. These dimensional comparison processes are assumed to result in negative paths from achievement in one subject (e.g., math) to self-concept in another (e.g., the verbal domain). In a study with N = 270 students, we investigated the generalizability of the I/E model to students with learning disabilities. Analyses showed positive correlations between math and German achievement and positive effects of achievement in both subjects on the corresponding domain-specific self-concept. Verbal and math self-concepts were almost uncorrelated. Moreover, there were negative effects of achievement in one domain on self-concept in the other. Our results therefore indicate that the I/E model can be generalized to students with learning disabilities.


Comparison processes Self-concept I/E model Students with learning disabilities 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jens Möller
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lilian Streblow
    • 2
  • Britta Pohlmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychologie für PädagogenUniversity of KielKielGermany
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of BielefeldBielefeldGermany

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