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Academic self-concept and academic interest measurement: A multi-sample European study

Abstract

Academic self-concept and academic interest are crucial concepts for understanding students’ academic achievement. Yet, few questionnaires currently exist that have been used and validated in more than one country. This study aimed at assessing these concepts using an academic self-concept questionnaire (Marsh, 1990) and an academic interest questionnaire (Corbière & Mbekou, 1997) with French and Italian student samples. Confirmatory Factor Analyses enabled us to assess the structure of the two questionnaires with regard to two academic subjects — Math and First Language (French or Italian) — and to determine the theoretical directions between the concepts. Results from Confirmatory Factor Analyses of both French and Italian samples supported a theoretical model in which academic self-concept and academic interest were intercorrelated, yet maintaining their unique characteristics. On the other hand, results from Multi-Sample Confirmatory Factor Analyses (French and Italian samples) endorsed a correlational model between the two concepts. Finally, the results indicated a significant and positive correlation between academic self-concept, academic interest, and academic achievement in both academic subjects.

Résumé

Le concept de soi scolaire et les intérêts scolaires sont des concepts importants pour comprendre le rendement scolaire des écoliers. Cependant, il y a peu de questionnaires disponibles qui ont été utilisés et validés dans plus d’un pays. La présente étude visait l’évaluation de ces concepts par l’utilisation du questionnaire du concept de soi scolaire (Marsh, 1990) et le questionnaire des intérêts scolaires (Corbière & Mbekou, 1997) et ce, en considérant des échantillons français et italiens. Des analyses factorielles confirmatoires nous ont permis d’évaluer la structure factorielle des deux questionnaires concernant les matières scolaires — Mathématiques et Première langue (français ou italien) — et de déterminer quelles sont les directions théoriques entre les concepts. Les résultats des analyses factorielles confirmatoires sur les échantillons français et italien ont soutenu le modèle théorique en vertu duquel concept de soi scolaire et les intérêts scolaires sont corrélés et ce, tout en conservant leurs propres caractéristiques. Par ailleurs, les résultats d’analyses factorielles confirmatoires à échantillons multiples (échantillons français et italien) étayaient un modèle corrélationnel entre les deux concepts. Enfin, les résultats indiquaient une corrélation positive et significative entre le concept de soi scolaire, les intérêts scolaires et le rendement scolaire pour les deux matières scolaires (Mathématiques et Première langue).

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Correspondence to Marc Corbière.

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Corbière, M., Fraccaroli, F., Mbekou, V. et al. Academic self-concept and academic interest measurement: A multi-sample European study. Eur J Psychol Educ 21, 3 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03173566

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03173566

Key words

  • Academic achievement
  • Academic interest
  • Academic self-concept
  • Multi-sample confirmatory factor analysis