You are on page 1of 13

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 1986, Vol. 51, No.

6, 1224-1236

Copyright 1986 by the American Psychological Association, Inc. 0022-35l4/86/$00.75

Global Self-Esteem: Its Relation to Specific Facets of Self-Concept and Their Importance
Herbert W. Marsh
Department of Education, University of Sydney, Australia

Theory and common sense posit that the effect of a specific facet of self-concept on esteem will vary with the importance of the facet, but little support for this proposal was found in a study of late adolescents and young adults. Subjects, particularly those with high esteem, were more likely to have high self-concepts in facets they perceived to be more important, but their importance ratings did not contribute to the prediction of esteem. Unweighted averages of 12 distinct dimensions of selfconcept correlated about .7 with Esteem, but weighting each facet by the importance assigned to it by the entire group, by diverse subgroups, or by each individual resulted in little or no improvement. Neither self-concept/importance interactions nor self-concept/importance discrepancies were able to explain much variance in Esteem beyond that which could be explained by specific facets of selfconcept. Nevertheless, some support for the effect of importance was found for the Spiritual and Physical Abilities facets, and these were the two facets for which the perceived importance was most variable.

Historically, self-concept research has emphasized the general or total self-concept, relegating specific facets of the construct only a minor role. More recent theoretical and empirical research has emphasized the multiple dimensions of self-concept (e.g., Byrne, 1984; Dusek & Flaherty, 1981; Fleming & Courtney, 1984; Harter, 1982; Marsh, Barnes, Cairns, & Tidman, 1984; Marsh, Barnes, & Hocevar, 1985; Marsh & Shavelson, 1985; Shavelson, Hubner, & Stanton, 1976; Scares & Scares, 1982). In an extensive review of construct validation research, Byrne (1984, p. 427) concluded that self-concept "is a multidimensional construct, having one general construct and several specific facets." Shavelson and Marsh (1986; Marsh & Shavelson, 1985) reached similar conclusions in a review of research stimulated by Shavelson's model (Shavelson et al., 1976) and the Self Description Questionnaire (SDQ) instruments based on the model. They concluded that self-concept cannot be adequately understood if its multidimensionality is ignored. With the increased emphasis on the multidimensionality of self-concept, the specific facets have become more important and the role of general self-concept has become less clear. There is no widely accepted definition of how the general construct should be defined, and at least five operational definitions are common: (a) a hierarchical general self that appears at the apex of hierarchical models such as Shavelson's model; (b) a conglomerate general self that is the total score from a hodgepodge of self-referent items that attempt to sample broadly from a range of characteristics; (c) a global self-esteem scale that is rela-

lively unidimensional and content free in that it is composed of items that infer a general sense of serf-worth or self-confidence that could be applied to many specific areas (e.g., the General Self scale from the SDQ III and other scales described by Harter, 1982, and Rosenberg, 1965); (d) a discrepancy general self for which ratings of specific facets of self (actual ratings) are subtracted from ideal ratings (e.g., Higgins, Klein, & Strauman, 1985; but also see Wyiie, 1974, for a critical discussion); and (e) a. weighted average general self where specific facets Hoge& McCarthy, 1984; Watkins, 1978). are weighted according to their salience, value, or importance (e.g.,

Role of Facet Importance and the Interactive Hypothesis The alternative conceptualizations of the general self construct have implications for the role of the importance of a specific area of self-concept in determining general self-concept. Historically, William James (1890/1963) argued that failure in areas deemed to be unimportant has little impact on general self-esteem, and this contention has been reiterated by many theorists (e.g., Coopersmith, 1967;Harter, 1982,1983,1984,in press; Hoge & McCarthy, 1984; Rosenberg, 1965, 1979, 1982; Watkins, 1978; Wells & Marwell, 1976; Wylie, 1974). Coopersmith (1967, p. 6) indicated that an individual's self-appraisals might vary in different areas so that "his overall appraisal of his abilities would presumably weight these areas according to -their subjective importance enabling him to arrive at a general level of self-esteem" but that "objective evidence on the method of arriving at general appraisals is sparse." Wylie (1974, p. 48) stated, "The sum is simple expedient in the face of ignorance and should be so recognized. Steps should be taken to weight item ratings according to their perceived salience to S, but this has not yet been tried." Rosenberg (1965, 1979; also see Hoge & McCarthy, 1984) proposed an interactive hypothesis, and one possible model of

I would like to thank Samuel Ball, Jenifer Barnes, Raymond Debus, Richard Shavelson, and Donald Spearritt for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this article. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Herbert W. Marsh, Faculty of Education, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.

Response Variability in Different Facets The relative contribution of each specific facet to the weighted and unweighted averages depends. p. These may force individuals to place a high value on some facets in which their self-perceptions are poor. Marsh et al.45. Their esteem measure was reasonably reliable (a = . and esteem (the Rosenberg scale) in a large sample of high school students. Brainerd. the weighted average was significantly less correlated with esteem than with other weighted and unweighted averages. when facets were weighted by the individual's own importance rating. thus leading to lower esteem. and they concluded that the single-item responses had poorer psychometric properties than did the multi-item scales (also see Rushton. their perceived importance. they found that no weighted average correlated with Esteem higher than . by students within the same school. 55) described the dilemma of a person with a poor ability in a particular area who must balance a reality principle against the need to have a favorable self-evaluation.) this hypothesis is presented in Figure 1. (1985) measured specific components of self-concept with both multi-item scales and single-item responses. One possible compromise is to recognize the poor ability in the particular area but to give it little importance in the determination of esteem. These findings led the authors to conclude that. 538) found support for a selectivity hypothesis in that an individual "will be disposed to value those things at which he considers himself to be good and to devalue those qualities at which he considers himself poor. Because these findings—particularly those based on individual importance ratings—are theoretically and logically implausible. and others. Hence. (According to the interactive hypothesis the effect of a specific facet of self on esteem varies as a function of the level of self-concept in the specific facet and the importance of the facet. Using a variety of empirical and a priori weightings of the specific facets. but the reliability of the specific facets and the importance ratings was not reported. group values are much more important than individual values in determining the value placed on specific facets. However." but he also recognized that "the freedom to select one's values Use of Single-Item Rating Scales Hoge and McCarthy assessed esteem with a multi-item scale. and there was little or no improvement when the specific facets were weighted by the mean importance rating assigned by the entire group. in part. According to this model. 1983). p. but the size of this positive contribution will depend on the facet's importance. In further analyses. or by students within the same class. Rosenberg (1982. which suggested to them that the weighted summations measure a construct different from esteem. The positive contribution to esteem will be larger when the level of the specific self-concept is more positive and the perceived importance is greater. The interactive hypothesis. Wells and Marwell (1976. and methodological weaknesses are examined here. without limit. & Pressley. the contribution—positive or negative—to esteem is much smaller. and that the weighted average based on individual importance ratings was significantly less correlated with esteem than with even the unweighted average. Paradoxically. An unweighted average of the specific self-concept facets correlated about . having a positive self-concept in a particular facet will contribute positively to esteem. For specific facets that are less important. they actually found that neither group nor individual ratings of importance were very useful. Theorists also speculate about how individuals determine the importance of specific areas of self-concept and how this relates to esteem. of course. high levels of self-concept substantially enhance esteem. Similarly. and the size of this negative contribution will be larger when the level of the specific selfconcept is more negative and its perceived importance is greater. at least for this age group." Hoge and McCarthy (1984). UJ Low Medium High LEVEL OF SELF-CONCEPT FOR SPECIFIC FACETS Figure 1. and they considered this to be their most important theoretical conclusion. but the specific facets and their importance were inferred from single-item responses. possible artifacts. having a negative self-concept in a particular facet will detract from esteem. have emphasized the constraints that group and subgroup values place on the freedom to select one's values. alternative explanations. Following Festingers social comparison theory. z o u UJ LL U.SELF-CONCEPT 1225 in a fashion congenial to one's self-image is not. on response variability—facets with more variability contribute .4 with esteem.75). LJJ I - in UJ Hoge and McCarthy 1984 Study Importance Hoge and McCarthy (1984) examined relations among specific facets of self-concept. the use of single-item scales may constitute an important methodological weakness in the Hoge and McCarthy study. whereas low levels of self-concept substantially reduce esteem. they found little or no support for Rosenberg's interactive hypothesis. For specific facets of self-concept that are very important.

more. the larger contribution of these facets runs counter to the intention to weight more heavily those specific facets that are more important. Self-concept facets are represented Harter Discrepancy Model Harter (1984. but who have high self-concepts for other facets and perceive these facets to be important. but she discovered that the discrepancy scores were close to zero for subjects with the highest esteem. The problem is that the average of cross products will be larger for subjects who perceive all facets to be important. one must discount the . and most negative for subjects with the poorest esteem. and Taylor & Hall. Potential problems and possible solutions are illustrated with the following two examples. 406) for both self-concept and importance ratings. these cross products may not provide an adequate test of the interactive hypothesis. Present Investigation The purpose of the present investigation is to relate esteem to specific facets of self-concept and to the importance of each facet. p. A General Test of the Interactive and Discrepancy Models A problem with the use of self-concept/importance cross products is that the effect of the self-concept/importance interaction is confounded with the main effects of the self-concept and importance ratings. The z-score transformation provides an alternative scaling that would remove this potential source of bias because it eliminates mean differences between the self-concept facets. The interactive and discrepancy models posit alternative conceptualizations of the influence of importance. For example. a problem with the use of self-concept/importance differences in the Harter discrepancy model is that the difference scores confound the main effects of the self-concept ratings and the importance ratings. Tellegen. the self-concept facet and the corresponding self-concept/importance cross product should each contribute significantly. moderately negative for subjects with intermediate esteem. 1982). and independently to the prediction of esteem. Although Harter's discrepancy scores were strongly correlated with esteem. in press) also hypothesized that "in order to maintain a positive sense of self-worth. Again the nature of the cross products does not adequately represent the interactive hypothesis. 1. Consider one subject who has a very positive self-concept in a facet that is perceived to be unimportant and a second subject who has a very negative self-concept in a facet that is perceived to be very important. in press-b. SD = 1) so that the cross products will always be positive for self-concepts above the mean and negative for self-concepts below the mean. One possible solution would be to transform the self-concept ratings into z scores (M = 0. However. also see discussion of a related problem by Hall & Taylor. the self-concept/importance cross products for both subjects will be about the same (depending on the characteristics of the response distributions).0. 1975. The study is based on data from all my published studies that have used the SDQ III. Consider two possible response patterns: (a) subjects who have low self-concepts for some facets and view these facets to be unimportant. Marsh. This potential problem is evident in the Hoge and McCarthy study inasmuch as their means and standard deviations are correlated about —. Lubinski. Common sense and the interactive hypothesis (Figure 1) suggest that the first situation should contribute positively. In terms of multiple regression. 2. & Butcher. The discrepancy model posits main effects for both the self-concept and importance ratings. In terms of multiple regression. and (b) subjects who also have low self-concepts for some facets and high selfconcepts for others. each subject's importance ratings could be divided by the sum of all of his or her importance ratings so that the transformed importance ratings—called proportionalized importance ratings for purposes of this study—sum to 1. The interactive hypothesis posits that the first group of subjects should have higher esteem scores. the self-concept facet should contribute positively. However. then there is empirical support for both models. and (c) a self-concept/importance interaction. Nature ofSelf-Concept/Importance Cross-Product Scores Hoge and McCarthy tested whether the perceived importance of a specific facet of self-concept influences how that facet relates to self-esteem by averaging the self-concept/importance cross products. but who perceive all facets to be important. although the existence of a self-concept/importance interaction may not contradict the discrepancy model. More suitable tests of both models can be conducted with analyses of variance (ANOVAS) or equivalent tests based on multiple regression (Cohen & Cohen. but the sum of self-concept/ importance cross products will actually be higher for the second group. and the importance rating negatively. 23). to esteem. she determined the difference between each facet and its perceived importance (a discrepancy model). However. In particular. albeit weakly. whereas the second situation should detract substantially from esteem. she failed both to demonstrate that they contributed beyond the contribution of just the specific facets and to contrast the theoretical basis of her model with the more typical interactive model. but they are not antithetical. so that the cross products do not adequately represent the interactive hypothesis. if both the main effect of importance and the importance/self-concept interaction are significant and in the right direction. (b) no main effect of importance (although the existence of such an effect may not contradict the interactive model). 1983. One possible solution is to rescale the importance ratings to be ipsative. The interactive model as depicted in Figure 1 suggests that there is (a) a main effect of self-concept. Harter found that importance ratings were nearly always higher than self-concept ratings when both sets of ratings were made on the same response scale. to the prediction of esteem. positively. The self-concept and importance ratings tend to be very negatively skewed so that the greatest response variability occurs for those facets for which the ratings are lowest. 1985. Similarly. as well as endorse the importance of domains in which one is competent" (p. instead of weighting each specific facet by its perceived importance (an interactive model). MARSH importance of domains in which one is not performing competently. However.9 (see their Table 1.1226 HERBERT W.

SD . the SDQ III studies have also asked subjects to respond to 12 single summary items designed to reflect 12 of the 13 scales—all but the Esteem scale.e. Although there are many differences between the present investigation and the Hoge-McCarthy study. & Barnes. 1984. For purposes of the present investigation. Emotional Stability. the following variables. were substantially lower in the self-concept of Physical Ability for both multi-item and single-item scales and the importance they placed on this facet. 1984. Original (untransformed) Self-Concept scale scores: These scores are the mean response to the 10 or 12 SDQ III items designed to measure each scale.6) who were selected as the nonalhlete control for subjects summarized in Group 5 (see Jackson. General Academic. Marsh & Jackson. in press). results from the original study showed that subjects in this nonathlete group. Marsh & Jackson. the differences were small. Honesty. Spiritual Values/Religion. and Global Self-Esteem). they were to predict what the subject had said). but unlike subjects in Groups 1-3. 4. Each of the 13 SDQ HI scales is represented by 10 or 12 items. Physical Ability for a group of athletes and Spiritual Values for students from a Catholic girls' senior school). and with both original and proportionalized (ipsative) importance ratings. it was anticipated that this group would have higher Physical self-concepts and would place more emphasis on this facet. Marsh & O'Niell. The 13 scales are as follows. in press). Physical Appearance. Self-concept/importance discrepancy scores: This is the difference between each facet and its perceived importance.. but testretest correlations over the Time I/Time 2 control interval were also considered. 2. reliability. only the summary-rating items and their relation to Esteem were considered for these two groups. the Esteem scale from the SDQ III was initially derived from the Rosenberg scale used in the earlier study. Verbal. too.3. Physical Appearance. (1985) and are further considered as part of the present investigation. Same Sex Relations. How accurate is this statement as a description of you?) and its importance (i. 8. subjects indicate the item's accuracy (i. thus providing tests of the transformations proposed in the discussion of the Hoge and McCarthy study. Finally. Marsh & Jackson. Psychometric properties of the accuracy ratings and their relation to the multi-item scale scores that they are designed to reflect were examined by Marsh et al.. Proportionalized importance ratings: For each subject. Standardized (z score) Self-Concept scale scores: These scores are the same as the Original Self-Concept scale scores except that the scale scores are standardized (M . Although not formally part of the SDQ III. and group values. (1986). Problem Solving. Although the high school athletes and powerlifters differed slightly in some areas of self-concept in a way that appeared to be age related. Math. and subjects respond on an 8-point response scale that ranges from 1 (definitely false) to 8 (definitely true). Physical Ability. In the present investigation. subgroup. For purposes of this investigation. As part of that study. 1986). 1985. Analyses are performed with both original and z-score self-concept ratings. the ipsative scores are relative to the other facets for each subject rather than relative to responses by other subjects. Marsh.. 79% female) described by Marsh et al. Because of the nature of the Outward Bound program. were considered: 1. Hence. it was anticipated that these subjects would have higher Spiritual self-concepts and would place more emphasis on this facet. Study 2). Samples Data came from five groups that were expected to differ systematically with respect to the perceived importance of some specific facet of self-concept.e. Relations With Parents. Diverse subgroups of subjects who have completed the SDQ III are expected to differ widely in the importance they attach to different facets (e. The theoretical rationale for its construction and a considerable body of empirical support for its dimensionality. Group 2 consisted of the 361 Outward Bound participants (mean age = 21. These significant others completed the survey as if they were the person who had given it to them (i. 1984. Nevertheless. and many of the specific facets considered in the two studies are similar. but the self-other correlations are also considered. For each of these 12 single items. Opposite Sex Relations. Group 4 consisted of 46 high-school girls (mean age = 16. and validity are summarized elsewhere (Marsh. 6. Group 1 consisted of the sample of 151 Australian university students (mean age = 21. Forty six of these women were high school athletes and 30 were finalists in the 1984 Australian women's powerlifting championships (Jackson. 7. and the last day of a 26-day residential program. in press-a. Standardized (z score) summary ratings: These are the same as the original summary ratings except that each of the original ratings is standardized (M = 0. derived from the SDQ III responses. and they did not Method Self-Description Questionnaire HI The present investigation is based on responses to the SDQ III. general tests of both the interactive and discrepancy models are conducted with multiple-regression analyses. These subjects completed the same materials as did the subjects in Group 4. Because of the nature of this group. approximately half of which are negatively worded. in press.1). 5. (1985. Emotional Stability. Subjects in Groups 4 and 5 completed accuracy and importance ratings for the 12 summary items. For purposes of the present investigation. General-Self (the Esteem scale for purposes of this study). Self-concept/importance cross products: This is the product of each self-concept facet and its perceived importance.9. Group 3 consisted of the 296 1 Ith-grade girls (mean age = 16.g. also see Marsh & O'Niell. the primary focus was on data from Time 1. the first day of.7) from two private Catholic girls' schools described by Marsh and O'Niell (1984). As part of that study. Responses to these items are made on a scale ranging from 1 (very inaccurate/very unimportant) to 9 (very accurate/very important). they completed only four of the self-concept multi-item scales (Physical Ability. Richards. allowing a comparison between the two. these were derived by (a) summing the 12 importance ratings for that subject and (b) dividing the importance rating for each facet by the sum of the 12 importance ratings for that subject. providing a good basis for comparing the influence of individual.76% male) described by Marsh et al.. SD = 1) across the total group. these groups were particularly relevant to the purposes of the present investigation. 1984. 1227 responses to the importance ratings for the 12 summary description items. Because the set of 12 proportionalized importance ratings sum to 1. subjects asked the person who knew them the best to complete the SDQ HI. participants completed the SDQ HI one month before.. Original (untransformed) summary ratings: These are the original responses to each of the accuracy ratings for the 12 single items. How important is this characteristic in determining how you feel about yourself?). but they did not differ substantially in terms of other areas of self-concept or in the importance they placed on these other areas.1) across the total group. the primary focus is on the self-ratings. compared with the athletes. Group 5 consisted of 76 female athletes (mean age = 20.e.0. 3.0 for each subject.SELF-CONCEPT by both multi-item scales and single-item responses. Original (untransformed) importance ratings: These are the raw . Marsh et al.

validity. Across all the groups. the summary ratings. However. particularly given the apparent unreliability of the summary ratings. there was a wide variation in the estimates for the different facets. two qualifications to this conclusion must be noted. Second.1982) selectivity hypothesis posits that individuals with high self-concepts in particular facets will attach higher importance to these facets and that this mechanism will allow individuals to enhance or protect their esteem. First. Similarly. which may affect conclusions based on them. the testretest and self-other correlations were substantially higher for the Spiritual facet and.87) were substantial and similar in magnitude to the internal consistency estimates that were reported in the original study. both groups of female athletes were combined to form Group 5 for purposes of this investigation. there were very few missing data for any of the subjects. the psychometric properties may be reasonable for averages across group and subgroup responses and for individual ratings of some specific facets. and the reliability of the mean importance rating across all 930 subjects in the total group and the subjects in each subgroup was substantial even when the reliability of individual responses was modest.26). the relatively poor psychometric properties of the importance ratings referred only to individual responses. the 12 single-item self-concept facets. The self-other correlations (Table 2) were substantial for the multi-item self-concept scales (mean r = . for the Physical Ability facet compared with the other facets.14) of the variance in the multi-item Esteem scores. completed the SDQ III as if they were the subject) to the self-concept scales. In the present investigation test-retest correlations provided one indication of the reliability of the single-item responses. The test-retest correlations for this group appear in Table 2. Physical self-concept and the importance of this facet were substantially higher for the group of female athletes (Group 5) and for the group of Outward Bound participants (Group 2) and substantially lower for the group of female nonathletes (Group 4) than they were for the total group. even though they are apparently less reliable and valid. Correlations between each of the 12 multi-item self-concept scales and the corresponding single-item summary ratings (Table 2) were substantial. Support for this contention was necessary in order to justify the weighting of self-concept facets by subgroup ratings of importance. Because of the large sample size virtually every effect was statistically significant. but still moderate.1228 HERBERT W.40). These findings suggest that the summary ratings may provide a reasonable estimate of the multi-item scales that they are designed to parallel. the Spiritual and Physical facets for which the importance ratings were postulated to have the greatest influence were the importance ratings with the best psychometric properties. and also because of the small sample sizes. a total of 930 subjects completed the multiitem Esteem scale. Despite the large group differences for some of the specific self-concept facets. These findings provide more support for the validity of the self-concept scales and summary ratings than they do for the validity of the importance ratings. and the importance ratings twice during a onemonth period.70).47). the summary ratings.. For this reason. multivariate and univariate analyses confirmed the expectation of group differences.7 for the group of 808 subjects). However. In particular. but the etas from the one-way ANOVAS provided an estimate of the size of each effect (see Table 1).6 for the group of 930 subjects and 19. group differences accounted foronly2%(t) = . but these limitations are often disregarded. The testretest coefficients for single-item importance ratings (mean r = . the Spiritual self-concept and the importance placed on this facet were substantially higher for the sample of girls from the Catholic high school (Group 3) than they were for the total group. if the subgroups did not differ in their importance ratings. In preliminary analyses. For the total group. differ on ratings of the Physical Ability facet or on any of the importance ratings. to a lesser extent. . The apparently modest reliability and validity of the importance ratings were discouraging. Except for the self-concept scales not completed by Groups 4 and 5. whereas relations between the summary ratings and Global SelfEsteem were examined across all subjects in Groups 1 through 5 as well as separately for each group. It was anticipated that the diverse subgroups who completed the SDQ III would vary substantially in self-concept and importance ratings for some of the specific facets. if the predicted group differences did exist—particularly for the perceived importance of the Physical and Spiritual facets—then there would be support for the validity of the importance ratings. but approximately 30% were nonstudents.08 to . and mean responses were substituted for the few missing values that did occur. only 808 (all but Groups 4 and 5) completed the 12 multi-item self-concept scales. A majority of the subjects were either high school or university students.e. and lowest for the importance ratings (mean r = . MARSH examined by relating them to responses by significant others. then weighting self-concept ratings by the mean importance ratings for the subject's subgroup would make no sense. and the importance ratings. Coefficients for the multi-item scales (mean r = . A majority of the subjects were female.57) were lower than for either the multi-item or single-item selfconcept ratings.57). but most were younger than 30 years of age. Significant others were selected by subjects in Group 1. Furthermore. and their validity was Selectivity Hypothesis: Self-Concept/Importance Correlations Rosenberg's(1965. ages varied from 15 to 60 (mean ages were 19. Across all respondents. correlations between the importance ratings and the self-concept measures (Table 3) were moderately positive. lower for the summary self-concept ratings (mean r .. The test-retest correlations for the corresponding single-item scales were lower (mean r = . Statistical Analysis Relations between the self-concept scales and Esteem were examined across all subjects in Groups 1 through 3 as well as separately for each group. but 306 (33% of the group of 930 subjects and 38% of the group of 808 subjects) were male. and generalizability. Also. A detailed examination of these group differences is not the focus of this study. and the 12 single-item importance ratings. Results and Discussion Psychometric Properties of Responses to the Summary and Importance Ratings Single-item scales may have limited reliability. As anticipated. Correlations between the self-reports and the responses by the significant others were used to test the validity of responses to the SDQ III. but of particular relevance is the demonstration that the groups do vary substantially for some but not for all facets (etas vary from . and these significant others inferred responses (i. The actual analyses are described in more detail in the Results section. Hence. Subjects in Group 2 completed the self-concept scales.

52 6.25 .10 .82 _ 6.10 6.34 1.42 5.17 7.25 5.00 7.64 4.28 4.50 5.15 . 8 = Honesty.27 7.36 .15 6.05).83 6.04 5.24 5.27 .16 .90 4.90 4.81 5.96 6.59 1.82 7.90 _ 6.18 5.06 5.17 .54 6.52 5.04 5.47 5.29 .08 1.75 5.17 5.08 1.33 7.27 1.85 7.85 7.33 4.49 6.41 5.95 5.14 — — • 1 = Physical Ability.40 6. the etas are based on 808 sets of responses from Groups 1-3 (tj > .11 5.23 5.17 4.42 5.17 8.89 1.63 1.71 0.13 5.20 5.09 4.28 .80 6.32 6.95 6.56 1.32 5.70 6.81 6.24 5.84 7.24 7.47 .17 .10 5.14 .45 4.72 1.41 7.16 .25 5.46 6.73 7. 9 = Verbal.24 4.12 .33 7.10 .99 5.78 6.87 1.26 _ 6.42 5.92 6.80 0.63 1.01 1.14 5.18 .28 7.54 6.37 7.46 4.20 _ 7.19 .17 .47 5. when subjects were divided into three groups on the basis of their Esteem scores. Consistent with earlier observations.68 6.78 6.05 1.91 4.15 .66 1.29 6. The self-concept/importance correlations were consistently higher for Spiritual Values and.33 4.85 — Group 5 Scale Sum Impt _ 6.56 5.82 5.49 6.04 5. importance/self-concept correlations were largest for subjects high in esteem and lowest for subjects low in esteem (Table 3).28 5.55 6.80 6.13 7.84 6.33 5.13 1.78 8.72 1.62 6.44 7.65 1.14 .97 1.34 8.80 6.52 5.80 7.28 5.11 .24 . 10 = Math.23 .13 _ _ _ _ 5. b One-way ANOVAS of differences between groups are summarized in terms of the eta values.01 5. thus supporting the selectivity hypothesis.36 .34 4.00 Group 2 Scale Sum Impt 6. and (c) this tendency is stronger for subjects with higher esteem.47 6.39 .09 is statistically significant at p < .61 5.54 5.40 5. 5 = Parent Relations.60 7.87 5.37 — 7.37 7.96 6.43 6.15 6.27 5. these may also be those facets in which subjects have the most freedom in determining the relative importance that is attached to them and the facets for which the importance ratings and self-concept ratings are most variable (see Table 1).17 7.40 4.37 6. 13 = Esteem.32 1.82 1.13 6.14 .45 _ 5.66 4.32 7. Single-Item Summary Self-Concept Ratings (Sum).87 — Total group Scale M SD Sum M SD Impt M SD 5.84 7.92 6.75 6. 4 = Same Sex Relations.02 6.53 — — Group 4 Sum Impt 4.09 .50 6.41 4.59 5.63 6.09 .16 .06 1.89 6.40 6.06 6.17 .28 6.11 0.87 6. and Importance Ratings (Impt) as Well as Etas Representing Differences Between Groups on These Scores Facet' Score 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Group 1 Scale Sum Impt 5.48 4.76 6. 7 = Spiritual Values.13 6.15 6.73 Group 3 Scale Sum Impt 5.75 6.19 6. 3 = Opposite Sex Relations.10 4.97 7.49 5.34 2.19 .41 1.85 1. to a lesser extent.21 5.52 6.26 5.25 5.72 7.53 4. (b) for some self-concept facets this tendency is very strong.20 .03 4.11 5. For summary and importance ratings the etas are based on the 930 sets of responses from Groups 1 -5 (TI > .56 5.92 4.34 6.83 4. Furthermore.20 6.82 4.53 7.64 4.18 1.91 5.85 7.75 1.93 5.67 6.47 1.29 5.37 5.67 6.12 .46 _ 6.10 .91 6.93 5.08 .36 5.16 6.05). 12 = Problem Solving.16 5.62 — — — — Etasb Scale Sum Impt .18 .47 7.83 6.71 7.78 1.20 6.57 6.47 5.08 is statistically significant at p < .26 7.29 4.95 1.50 _ 3.67 1.96 1.24 6.72 7. 2 = Physical Appearance.64 5. .86 5.SELF-CONCEPT Table 1 1229 Mean Ratings for Multi-Item Self-Concept Scales (Scale).96 2.25 6. For the scale scores.59 7.94 6. 6 = Emotional. 11 = General Academic.01 1.87 4. for Physical Ability than they were for the other facets.54 7. These findings demonstrate that (a) a subject's self-concept in a specific area is moderately correlated with his or her perceived importance of the area.53 6.84 6.75 2.60 4.

31 .72 .39 . and Barnes (1986). the standard deviation of the 12 (original) importance ratings by each subject was not significantly correlated (r = . Second.58 .23 .36 .31 . However.77 .89 .27 . Importance Ratings.36 .15 . Although the data in the present investigation are not appropriate for testing these alternative explanations of the empirical relation.66 .40 Impt Scale and sum Appearance Opposite Sex Same Sex Parents Emotional Spiritual Honesty Verbal Math Academic Problem Solving Esteem'1 Median r Meanr . Instead. subjects may strive to improve their skills and self-perceptions in areas that they and significant others view to be important.28 .32 .87 .46 .34 .38 . nor did subjects high in esteem devalue those facets for which all subjects tended to have the lowest self-concepts and/or perceived to be least important.26 .66 . 1984.52 . « = 361) from Marsh.20 .33 .39 .50 .77 . b Self-other correlations (« = 151) are based on self-report responses and self-concepts inferred by a significant other from Marsh.45 .70 . Correlations for the low-.33 .45 .1230 Table 2 HERBERT W. Table 3 Selectivity Hypothesis: Self-Concept/Importance Correlations Based on Multi-Item Self-Concept Scales (Scale) and SingleItem Self-Concept Summaries (Sum) for the Tola! Group and Groups of Subjects With Low.48 .77 .42 .10 .85 .27 .24 .94 .26 .46 .89 .29 -.18 .34 . MARSH tively poor and higher for facets in which self-concepts are more favorable—than for subjects low in esteem.39 .46 .91 .76 .29 .54 Note.85 .61 .17 . Single-Item Summary Ratings (Sum).71 .47 .30 . such a tendency might be stronger for high-esteem individuals.44 .07 .62 .19 . causes higher levels of esteem.68 . First.50 .40 .36 .63 .44 Sum .77 .48 . For the total group.86 . medium-. Each correlation represents the relation between self-concept ratings and importance ratings for the same facet.42 . even though rs between0 Psychometric Properties of the Multi-Item Self-Concept Scales (Scale).64 .60 .71- .88 .54 .26 .51 .88 .57 .89 .39 .59 .40 .35 .49 — .37 .20 .66 .46 .88 .33 .23 .45 .36 . the average of the z-score standardized responses.33 .83 .71 Impt Sum .57 .43 .86 .71 fied.69 . For the multiitem scales.54 .19 . and Esteem Unweighted averages of specific self-concepts.11 . all the unweighted averages correlated about .44 .19 . Three un- weighted averages used to summarize responses to the 12 specific facets of self-concept—the average of the raw responses.61 .62 . in turn. This last observation is important because other researchers seem to interpret self-concept/importance correlations such as those observed here as support for either the interactive model or the discrepancy model.15 — .45 .03) with the subject's esteem.80 .33 .49 . the facets for which all subjects tended to have the highest self-concepts and perceived to be most important were not more valued by subjects high in esteem.49 .08 .57 .70 .45 .31 . the selectivity hypothesis suggests that importance ratings by subjects high in esteem will be much more variable—lower for facets in which self-concepts are rela- Total Facet Physical Appearance Opposite Sex Same Sex Parents Emotional Spiritual Honesty Verbal Math Academic Problem Solving Median r Meanr Scale Sum Low esteem Scale High esteem Scale Sum . Study 2).88 .19 .61 . also see Marsh & O'Niell. which. However.79 .87 . it was the specific facets of self-concept that were substantially correlated with esteem.45 .45 .27 .31 .57 .75 .01 .02 .37 .37 .36 .25 . Third.08 .65 .55 . and to the extent that they are successful.62 .32 . and the first principal component derived from the set of self-concept ratings—were correlated with Esteem (Table 5).42 . and alternative explanations are plausible.43 .49 . and Hocevar (1985.60 .36 .70 . and High Levels of Esteem Group Medium esteem Scale Implicit in the selectivity hypothesis is the assumption that higher self-concepts in specific facets cause subjects to place more importance on these facets. several observations fail to support the selectivity hypothesis.22 .86 . Relations Among Specific Facets. importance ratings for every facet were nearly uncorrelated with esteem (Table 4).68 — .34 . Medium.45 .65 .45 .28 . and Importance Ratings (Impt)for the 12 Self Facets and Esteem self-concept/importance cross products and self-concept/importance discrepancies were moderately correlated with Esteem.75 .47 .48 .87 . this may lead to higher levels of esteem.7 with •Test-retest correlations (interval = 1 month. ° Correlations based on the total sample (n = 930 for sum and importance ratings and n = 808 for scales).37 . Richards.73 .65 .65 . d The Esteem scale was only measured with a multi-item scale.08 .84 .85 .54 .30 .33 .87 .15 .17 — .35 .89 .33 .80 .82 .87 .21 . and high-esteem groups are each based on about one third of the sets of responses* .57 .35 . For example.68 — .72 .75 . Also.85 .48 . In particular.44 .32 .06 .68 .19 .43 .36 Sum .62 . these correlations were smaller than the correlations between the self-concept ratings and Esteem for every one of the 12 facets (Table 4). Barnes. particularly those facets judged to be most important by all subjects.47 .33 .53 .09 .55 .81 .70 . but such interpretations may not be justi- Test-retest rs* Facet Physical Scale Self-other rs" Scale Sum .76 .30 .25 . correlations between self-concept and importance ratings are based on 930 (for single-item self-concept ratings) and 808 (for multi-item self-concept scales) sets of responses.13 .07 .34 .52 . the correlational nature of the data in the present investigation and in Rosenberg's research does not provide an adequate test of these causal relations.18 .

28 .6.21 . .41 .20 .15 . For the multi-item self-concept scales.29 . These findings provide no support for the usefulness of the group or subgroup importance ratings in the weighting of specific components of self-concept to predict Esteem. consequently.01 . multiple correlations relating Esteem to the 12 specific facets of self (Table 5) were . respectively.09 .34 .22 .21 . whereas those for the summary items were close to . The results of Selfconcept/ importance1* differences Scale the present investigation.26 .7 for multi-item scales. are not discussed further. and particularly their implications. and these multiple correlations were somewhat higher. Hull.59 Sum .46 .26 . the differences were much smaller (Table 5). and they noted important implications based on this low correlation. the rule of parsimony dictates that the unweighted averages are preferable. the size of the differences is modest. " Self-concept/importance cross products were calculated by multiplying the original (unstandardized) self-concept rating for each facet (multi-item scales and single-item summary ratings) by the corresponding original (unproportionalized) importance rating.35 . the most likely explanations include the reliability of the esteem measures.18 .67 .48 Sum .23 .12 .44 .25 .SELF-CONCEPT 1231 Table 4 Correlation of Esteem With Self-Concept Ratings.34 . and the use of multiitem scales. whereas correlations for the summary ratings were close to . To the extent that the weighted averages perform no better than the unweighted averages. Specific facets weighted by individual importance ratings.23 . & Bent.32 . the way that the self-concept scores and the importance ratings were scaled makes a substantial difference (Table 5). averages weighted by total group impor- Selfconcept ratings Facet Physical Appearance Opposite Sex Same Sex Parents Emotional Spiritual Honesty Verbal Math Academic Problem Solving Total0 Scale Importance ratings Sum . Specific facets weighted by group and subgroup importance ratings.14 .26 .78 and . Scale = multi-item self-concept. In each instance.28 .06 . compared with 12 used here. Although there were minor differences among the three unweighted averages and among the different subgroups.14 .60 . However.34 . and subjects in the present study were tance ratings were virtually identical to those weighted by subgroup importance ratings and did not differ from those based on unweighted averages.11 .08 -.15 .23 . The correlations reported here are higher than those in the Hoge and McCarthy study.41 .35 .51 . Differences Selfconcept3/ importance cross products Scale older than subjects in their study.09 . Jenkins. When raw self-concept scores were weighted by raw importance ratings.25 . but these make virtually no difference and. However.03 . These correlations based on unweighted averages provide a lower limit for testing the usefulness of the various weighted averages.11 .48 .45 . as well as these observations. the results are quite consistent. Hoge and McCarthy considered only 9 specific components.34 .31 .04 Sum . 1975). Similar analyses were performed for each subgroup. For the total group. Self-Concept/Importance and Self-Concept/Importance Cross Products. probably for the same reasons as indicated earlier.4 between their unweighted average of single-item self-concept scales and Esteem. Hoge and McCarthy found that the specific components were more highly correlated with the Esteem scale for their oldest subjects.6. the weighted averages were substantially less correlated with Es- .6 for single-item ratings and . Although many possible explanations may account for the different results. c Total scores are the sum of the 12 scores for each of the specific facets. the psychometric properties of multi-item scales are superior to those of single-item scales.53 . For these analyses.13 . were much higher. but the similarity of correlations based on weighted and unweighted responses is consistent with their findings. suggest that the findings by Hoge and McCarthy. Importance Ratings.12 .09 . Hence.23 .24 . any improvement in weighted averages of the self-concept facets by total group or subgroup importance ratings must also be modest. each self-concept score was weighted by the mean importance weighting either for the entire group or for the subgroup to which the subject belonged (the means appear in Table 1).27 .29 .25 .09 . These analyses are particularly important because (a) this is the type of weighting typically implied by researchers who advocate the use of importance ratings and (b) this is the type of weighting that Hoge and McCarthy found to perform more poorly than the unweighted average (and which I suggested might be an artifact of scaling problems).15 . Empirically weighted averages.14 .28 .7. For these analyses.07 .32 . Different procedures for scaling the specific self-concept and importance ratings were considered.41 .20 .34 . Sum = single-item summary rating.33 .41 . the number of specific components that were considered.27 .07 .03 .30 .05 . Responses to the SDQ III Esteem scale were more reliable than responses to the Rosenberg scale in the Hoge and McCarthy study. perhaps the ages of the subjects. Although these multiple correlations are clearly higher than those obtained with the unweighted averages.33 Note.51 .00 .17 .29 .17 . Steinbrenner.67 for the self-concept scales and summary ratings. Hoge and McCarthy (1984) reported a correlation of only .22 .34 . the corresponding correlations in the present investigation.26 . each self-concept facet for each subject was weighted by the importance rating assigned to that facet by the subject. Finally.09 .26 . must be viewed cautiously.50 .07 .14 .13 . These multiple correlations represent an absolute upper limit for correlations between Esteem and weighted averages of the specific facets based on group or subgroup ratings of importance.08 . b Self-concept/importance differences were calculated by subtracting the original (unstandardized) self-concept rating for each facet (multiitem scales and single-item summary ratings) from the corresponding original (unproportionalized) importance rating. when the multiple correlations were corrected for sampling bias (see Nie.11 . Esteem. For these analyses. as in the Hoge and McCarthy study. so their unweighted average may have been less reliable and generalizable. correlations between all the weighted averages and Esteem were close to .

524 Note.478 .680 .677 .773 .629 .492 .658 .595 .560 .621 . " Each of these mean scores was determined without taking into account the importance ratings.410 .378 .439 .535 .392 .672 .572 .606 .641 .683 . but these correlations differed little from those based on only the unweighted average of self-concept ratings.657 .673 .543 .549 .664 .658 .632 .514 .615 . This demonstrates that the findings were not due to some serendipitous relation between the importance ratings and self-concept scores that is idiosyncratic to the present investigation.593 .650 . each subject was assigned a set of 12 random numbers that varied between 0 and 1.585 .525 . These were used to weight the specific self-concepts.557 .685 .790 .589 . Except for the use of these random numbers in place of the importance ratings by individual subjects.800 .432 .708 Weighted by total group importance ratingsb Raw score/raw impt Stand score/raw impt .709 .503 .673 .640 .518 . " For purposes of these analyses. Similar analyses were conducted with the proportionalized importance ratings. The commercially available Statistical Package for the Social Sciences program (Nie et al.568 .568 .768 .652 . Correlations based on z-score standardized self-concepts and proportionalized importance ratings were the same as those labeled stand score/raw impt and so they have not been presented.588 .513 .597 .589 .600 .685 . 0 These weighted averages were denned as in b except that the importance weightings were obtained from the subgroup ratings rather than from individual or total group importance ratings.337 .609 .588 .308 .593 .595 .676 . Separate averages were derived from the original importance ratings (raw impt) and the proportionalized importance (prop impt) ratings.660 .672 .483 .584 .1232 HERBERT W.551 .455 .671 .454 .559 . d These weighted averages were denned as in Footnotes b and c except that the self-concept scores were weighted by importance ratings assigned by each individual.552 .678 .559 .703 . but because the results did not differ from those reported here they are not presented. Hence.677 .596 .635 .652 .635 .709 .718 .568 . these findings provide no support for the usefulness of importance ratings by individual subjects in the weighting of specific components of self-concept to predict Esteem.641 .711 .712 .646 .654 .565 .706 .538 Weighted by individual random weights6 Raw score/raw impt Raw score/prop impt Stand score/raw impt Stand score/prop impt . and these weighted averages were defined as in Footnote d. Substantially larger correlations occurred when the self-concept scores were standardized or the importance ratings were proportionalized.700 .524 .762 .707 .710 .657 .666 ..360 .836 .643 .688 .686 .633 .713 .544 .656 .559 . In order to further explore the apparent artifact of using un- sealed scores.670 .768 .540 Weighted by subgroup importance ratings" Raw score/raw impt Raw score/prop impt Stand score/raw impt .559 .643 .540 .767 .669 .554 . teem than they were with any of the other weighted or unweighted averages.642 .695 .698 .583 .347 .544 Weighted by individual importance ratings'1 Raw score/raw impt Raw score/prop impt Stand score/raw impt Stand score/prop impt .722 .708 .480 .701 .530 .522 .567 .777 .591 .669 . were consistent across subgroups. 1975) was used to determine the first principal component of the set of 12 ratings.358 .659 .587 .641 . Again the correlations based on the raw (random) weights and the raw self-concept scores resulted in substantially lower correlations than when either the self-concept scores were standardized or the (random) weights were proportionalized (Table 5).523 .293 .541 .579 .514 . Prop = proportionalized.564 .778 .611 .683 .486 .534 .680 .602 .606 . and were consistent with Hoge and McCarthy's findings.530 . the same analyses were performed. MARSH Table 5 Correlations Between Weighted Averages of the 12 Self-Concept Scores (Scales and Summary Ratings) and Esteem for the TotalGroup and Each Subgroup Multi-item scales for groups Item Total Single-item summary ratings for groups 1 2 3 Total 1 2 3 4 5 Average self-concept scores' Total raw score Total standard score Principal component Uncorrected/{ Corrected R .532 .379 .653 . b These weighted averages were determined by multiplying self-concept ratings by the corresponding unsealed importance ratings. the importance ratings were replaced with random numbers that varied between 0 and 1 on a uniform distribution. These findings were consistent for self-concept scales and summary items.555 . Impt = importance rating.715 .699 .568 .542 .693 . Stand = standardized.693 .677 .631 .591 .560 .632 .722 .693 .721 .586 . It is also gratifying to note that the randomly weighted averages were somewhat less .551 .588 .554 .531 .620 .595 .792 .702 .

18.9% (R = . One potential limitation of the present investigation is that subjects were mostly late adolescents and young adults. even clearly articulated accounts of how it should be tested—are surprisingly rare. a series of hierarchical multiple regressions was used to predict Esteem from the self-concept ratings. Three general conclusions resulted from these analyses of weighted and unweighted averages of self-concept ratings. the 12 self-concept rat2 In an alternative set of tests of the interactive and discrepancy models. and so further examination of the issues is needed. Despite the large sample size. rigorous tests of the hypothesis—indeed. based on individual importance ratings. although even these differences were surprisingly small. The results of these multiple regressions (Table 6) are summarized in terms of the change in R at each step of the analysis and the part correlations (see Nie et al. For the analysis of the multi-item scales. Second. the main effect of self-concept on Esteem was substantial.21. In separate analyses of each self-facet. positive. and it also suggests that no appreciable amount of variance could be explained by nonlinear terms in either the main effects or the interaction term (such nonlinear effects were included as part of the variance explained by the ANOVA but not by the regression analysis). all the significant effects were negative. William James (1890/ 1963) first proposed the hypothesis 100 years ago. the importance rating (if statistically significant) was entered on the second step. the 12 importance ratings were entered on the second step. and the self-concept/importance cross products. the percentage of variance explained by the ANOVA was smaller for nearly every facet. First. subgroup importance ratings. Using esteem as the dependent variable. the set of 36 variables accounted for 49. Hoge and McCarthy. In this analysis. 1975) between each variable and Esteem in the final regression equation. the Hoge-McCarthy conclusion that these weighted averages.777) could be explained by only the set of 12 self-concept ratings. and the contributions of the importance ratings (2. However. However. consistent with the discrepancy model. importance ratings. the self-concept rating (if statistically significant) was entered on the first step.. Third. and the 12 self-concept/importance cross products were entered on the third step. and total group importance ratings perform no better than the unweighted averages. but an examination of their study suggested meth* odological problems. although support for the interactive and discrepancy models was weak across the set of 12 facets. For only 2 of the 12 facets. but it still found little support for the hypothesis. the direction of all these significant effects was positive. and no part correlation was larger than . the main effect of the importance ratings was statistically significant (p < . which is the theoretical justification for their use. These analyses provide statistically significant—albeit very weak—support for both the discrepancy and interactive models.5% (R = . However. Hence. it seems intuitively plausible. 1 .4% of the variance (R = .SELF-CONCEPT correlated with Esteem than were previously considered averages. all the self-concept scores and the importance ratings were divided into four categories.9%) were small. 63. Summary and Implications Influence of a Facet's Importance on Its Relation to Esteem A variety of theoretical hypotheses. and it appears to be easy to test. the contribution of the self-concept ratings was substantial (45. Summary.797) of the variance in Esteem could be explained by the 36 variables. support was stronger for the two facets in which importance ratings were expected to have the largest impact. but the study needs to be replicated with a sample of older adults. The findings are generally consistent with Hoge-McCarthy findings based on a younger sample of high school students (45% female).' A similar hierarchical multiple regression was conducted to assess the interactive and discrepancy models across all 12 selffacets simultaneously. the weighted averages based on individual importance ratings. For the single-item scales.05) for only 10 of the 24 analyses (based on the 12 multi-items scales and the 12 single-item scales). and more than 60% were female. consistent with the interactive model.8% of the variance in Esteem. the theoretical notion has too much intuitive appeal to be completely rejected. Even though the degrees of freedom for main effects and for the interaction effect in this ANOVA were larger than for the multiple regression analyses summarized in Table 5. the Physical and Spiritual facets. The set of 12 importance ratings entered on the second step contributed an additional 1.706) of the variance in Esteem. posit that the effect of a specific facet of self-concept on esteem will depend on the facet's importance. and none of these part correlations exceeded . it has been restated frequently. the unweighted average of specific self-concept facets was much more positively correlated with esteem than was suggested by Hoge and McCarthy. The present investigation verified that methodological problems did exist and devised solutions to the problems. as well as common sense. Nevertheless. General Test of the Interactive and Discrepancy Models In order to better test the interactive and discrepancy models. a 4 (level of self-concept) by 4 (level of importance) ANOVA was conducted separately for each facet. 1233 ings were entered on the first step. The self-concept/importance interaction was statistically significant for only 7 of the 24 analyses. and the self-concept/importance cross product (if statistically significant) was entered on the third step. in one of the most recent attempts.3%. This suggests that systematic variance was lost in translating the scores into discrete categories in order to perform the ANOVA.3%). and the 12 self-concept/importance cross products entered on the third step accounted for an additional 1. and statistically significant for most of the facets. whereas 60. the effects of the importance ratings and the self-concept/importance interactions were consistently larger than was the main effect of self-concept ratings (which failed to reach statistical significance after taking into account the other two effects). these analyses fail to support the usefulness of importance ratings in the weighting of specific components of self-concept to predict Esteem or theoretical models that propose that they will be useful. perform more poorly than any other weighted or unweighted average is apparently an artifact of using unsealed scores that do not adequately represent the interactive hypothesis. Hence. found little or no support for the hypothesis.7%) and serfconcept/importance interaction (1. Consistent with earlier findings.

604** .09** .187** .03 .12** -.167** .118" . the change in R2 values sum to the R2 for the entire regression equation).015** .08 -.038 .32** .022** .113** . The importance ratings were psychometrically weak. c The R2 value based on all variables that were statistically significant.018** . b The increment in R2 that occurs for each particular step (i.013** — — — — — — .008** — — — — — — — — — — — — -.113" . or just attributable to the self-concept rating when the contribution of the importance rating was not statistically significant) was tested.18** -.21** -. *p<.019** Note. they were not included in the regression equation.06* — — — — .233** .111** .30** .34** .08** -.019** . Asking subjects to rate the importance of each item in the multi-item scales would provide better importance scores. and thus.066** .1234 Table 6 The Effect HERBERT W.12** .16** — — — — .34** .216** .14** — — — -.052** .178" .020** . none of the weightings considered in the present study.027" .41** . " Only for multiple regressions based on the single-item and multi-item Spiritual facets did the self-concepts fail to correlate significantly with Esteem.635" .004* .113** .092** .OI.248** .370** .012** .052" .25** .009** .015" . • The part correlation between the specific self-concept rating and esteem when all statistically significant variables are in the regression equation.106** .171** .113** .264" .14** . **p<.18** . not even the random weighting.009** — — . The change in R2 and part correlation are presented for each step that was statistically significant (see Table 4 for corresponding correlation coefficients).e.118** .027** — — — — .05. and then the 12 cross products on the third step. Furthermore.062** .07* — -.013** .499** . Interaction on Esteem Self-concept Importance Partr Change in R2 Part r Cross product Change in R2 and the Self-Concept/Importance Facet Physical Scale Sum Appearance Scale Sum Opposite Sex Scale Sum Same Sex Scale Sum Parents Scale Sum Emotional Scale Sum Spiritual'1 Scale Sum Honesty Scale Sum Verbal Scale Sum Math Scale Sum Academic Scale Sum Problem Solving Scale Sum All 12 facets0 Scale Sum Rirtr" Change in R2 " R2' -.453* . and the statistical significance of the change in R2 attributable to the inclusion of the importance rating was tested in the second step.063** .14** — — .092** .51** — .006** .15** -.166** . The importance ratings for the Spiritual facet also failed to enter significantly on the first step.063" . the change in R2 owing to the cross product (from the R2 attributable to the self-concept and importance rating.240** .11** — — .23** .14** — .10** — — — — — — — . The self-concept score was entered in the first step.096** .43** .081" . Each Importance Rating.419** .026** — — .005* .30** .216** .46" — -.027** . followed by the 12 importance ratings on the second step.006* .106" . In the third step.012** . Significance tests were conducted for the change in R2 at each step. However.264** -.362** .16** . really made much difference.166** .005* — .50** .248** .28** .03 49»* . A potential problem with the present investigation was its use of single-item responses to assess the importance of each facet. A series of hierarchical multiple regressions was conducted in which each self-concept. MARSH of Each Self-Concept Score (Scales and Summary Ratings). importance ratings averaged across all the responses in various .020" .010** — — .094** . and their cross product was used to predict esteem. the corresponding importance rating. once the self-concept/importance cross product entered the equation the importance ratings accounted for a statistically significant portion of the variance.106** .143** .16** .081" .120** ..031** . 'These Rs resulted from a hierarchical multiple regression in which all 12 self-concept scores were entered first.020** .34** . However.

Second. then neither the weighted nor the unweighted averages of responses to such an instrument would be likely to correlate with Esteem as highly as the unweighted average of responses to more broadly defined facets. Fleming. 1985). 427-456. support for the proposal might be stronger if the "facets" were composed of narrowly denned characteristics that most respondents judged to be unimportant but that a few respondents found to be very important. Furthermore. Review of Educational Research. and all but one had means between 6 and 8 on a 9-point response scale. (1984). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. an instrument composed of many diverse. Coopersmith. In fact. the two facets originally suggested by William James (1890/1963) to illustrate his proposal were skills as a psychologist. S. 404-421. the Spiritual and Physical Ability facets seem closest to this description. This situation appears to be analogous to the one in intelligence/ability testing where many researchers now argue against the sole reliance on IQ. then measures of multiple facets are more useful than a general facet. Although this counterexplanation is worth pursuing. San Francisco: Freeman. to predict diverse behaviors. 1235 use of the entire SDQ III. In contrast to the broadly denned. 1985) I have argued that self-concept cannot be adequately understood if its multidimensionality is ignored. Other Issues Several other issues. 46. The dimensionality of selfesteem: II: Hierarchical facet model for revised measurement scales. and the self-concept ratings do not appear to suffer from inadequate response variability. & Cohen. If the role of self-concept research is to better understand the complexity of the self. J. (1984). The development of self-concept during the adolescent years. None of the facets was given a mean importance rating of less than 5. J. this conclusion was shown to be unjustified. Of the SDQ III facets. Although a substantial relation between importance ratings and self-concept ratings is often interpreted as support for using the importance ratings to weight the self-concept responses. Cohen. there was modest support for the psychometric properties of the singleitem self-concept ratings. (1975). these facets had the most variable importance ratings and were also the facets that provided the best support for the interactive proposal. although not the primary focus of the present investigation. Role of specific self-concept facets. Use of single-item scales. (1981). the variability in single-item importance ratings for each facet is nearly the same as the variability in the corresponding self-concept ratings. S. Marsh & Shavelson. and status of the general self construct. Serial No. specific facets become more important as individuals grow older and the specific facets become more differentiated. and to relate self-concept to other constructs. 1985). 54. J. Nevertheless. (1967). it may be better to use the 12 summary items than not to consider multiple dimensions of self-concept. P. his profession. perhaps the general Esteem scale. generally unimportant facets would probably make a poor selfconcept instrument (see the discussion of the conglomerate approach to defining general self that was discussed earlier and that is presented in more detail by Marsh & Shavelson. Further research is clearly needed to test the assumption of causality that is implicit in the selectivity hypothesis and the implications of the hypothesis for the interactive and discrepancy models. F. Ironically. The positive correlation between self-concept and importance ratings (Table 4) is consistent with the hypothesis even though other explanations seem to be viable. Applied multiple regression/correlation analysis for the behavioral sciences... Selectivity hypothesis. subjects selectively assign the greatest importance to those areas of self-concept in which their self-perceptions are most positive and assign the least importance to areas in which their self-perceptions are poorest. The antecedents of self-esteem. and in the theoretical underpinnings that stimulated the present study. E. Dusek. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development. but weighted averages based on these subgroup importance ratings did not perform better than the unweighted averages. Implicit in the Hoge and McCarthy study. unless there were a huge number of such narrowly denned facets. because the hierarchy of specific facets in self-concept research appears to be weaker than in intelligence/ability research. Ironically. Single-item scales designed to represent the SDQ III facets were found to have poorer psychometric properties than did the multi-item scales. Thus. Hillsdale. generally important facets that appear on the SDQ III. then the use of the most relevant scales. The general/academic self-concept nomological network: A review of construct validation research. 46(4. is the assumption that general selfconcept is more important than specific facets. & Flaherty. B. NJ: Erlhaum. an area in which he had "no pretensions. This is consistent with findings in other areas of research. it has problems as well. in press-a. Elsewhere (Marsh & Shavelson. another possible problem is that the SDQ III is designed too well. However. and it represents most of the facets considered to be important by the respondents. the hierarchy is so weak that the general self that appears at the apex accounts for only a small portion of the variance in the specific facets (Marsh. it seems unlikely that obtaining better importance ratings would substantially alter the weighted averages or improve support for the hypothesis. was to provide a basis for defining general self-concept. it only includes facets that are at least reasonably important to most people. & Courtney.SELF-CONCEPT subgroups were more reliable and there were systematic group differences in the importance ratings. Although specific facets such as those measured by the SDQ III are hierarchically ordered. Hence. the reliance on a general construct is less justifiable in self-concept research even though it appears to be more prevalent. this appears to be a historical weakness in self-concept research. J.. The assumed role of specific self-concepts." Consistent with James's original formulation. First. B. although it is better to use the 136 SDQ III items than the 12 summary items. If external constraints preclude the References Byrne. . this "problem" is predicated on the assumption that there is insufficient response variability in the importance ratings. each assessed with multiple items. 191). support for the selectivity hypothesis. According to the selectivity hypothesis. weighted or not. such as those from the SDQ III. and the set of 12 summary rating items may be an expedient compromise. and skills at Greek language. were also addressed. Although the general constructs in both areas of research may be relevant for the very young. These include the use of single-item scales. B.

& Barnes. Harter. In M. W. D. Rinehart & Winston. 4th ed. MARSH masculinity and femininity as a function of women's involvement in athletics. (in press-a). Hubner. Hull. hierarchical structure. Marsh. 429-435. 92. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. . Cairns. Child Development. (1976).... The development and evaluation of self-esteem measuring instruments. J. M. Vol. S. Journal of Educational Measurement. E. H. Sex Roles. (1985). 1986 • Hall. 44. Suls & A.. Athletic or antisocial: The female sports experience. C. 3). & Scares. NJ: Erlbaum. 171182. H.. C. & Hocevar. 107-125. New York: Basic Books. Nie. L. W. G. Validation of construct interpretations. (1984). J.). R. S. The principles a/psychology. L. Multidimensional self-concepts. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. July). (1963).. Harter. (1982). In R. Mussen (Ed. (1976). H. Shavelson. Arlington Heights. W. Psychological perspectives on the self (Vol. Beverly Hills. W. (1983). M. J. Watkins. Self-Description Questionnaire III (SDQ III): The construct validity of multidimensional self-concept ratings by late-adolescents. W. Marsh. G. (in press). G. R.. Scares. S. New York: Holt. T. H. Marsh. 75. Psychological androgyny and the Masculinity X Femininity interaction. (1984). C. M. R. IV. Marsh. & Stanton. 21... Handbook of child psychology. D. Review of Educational Research. D. Processes underlying self-concept formation in children. H.. P. Statistical package for the social sciences. Harter. W. Convergence and discrimination in academic self-concepts. (1979). Self-concept discrepancy theory: A psychological model for distinguishing among different aspects of depression and anxiety. Australia. 18-38. 195-204. Self-other agreement on multidimensional self-concept ratings: Factor analysis and multitrait-multimethod analysis. (1974). Wells. Society and the adolescent self-image. (1983). D. 1) Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.. 46. (1984). New York: McGraw-Hill. H. T. M. Journal of Educational Psychology. H. M. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Psychological Bulletin. Hoge. femininity. D. 49. Conceiving the self. In J. Marsh. Harlan Davidson. M C. 275-385).. (in press-b). J. Unpublished bachelor's thesis. Princeton. 347-366. Richards.1236 HERBERT W.428-439. The Perceived Competence Scale for Children. femininity and androgyny: Their relations with multiple dimensions of self-concept. W. Psychological selectivity in self-esteem formation. & Bent. 4. & McCarthy. 305-330).. Paper presented at the meeting of the 20th Congress of the International Association of Applied Psychology. (1965). (Original work published in 1890) Lubinski. Scotland. H.). R. Processes underlying self-concept formation in children. & Jackson. Marsh. James. J. Rosenberg. A. & Marwell. 20. Kaplan (Eds. Unpublished manuscript. M.. E. J. (1982. 940-956. & Marsh. R. Masculinity. A. J. Marsh. R. N. A. Barnes. J. J.403-414. H.. 535-546). The SelfDescription Questionnaire (SDQ): Age effects in the structure and level of self-concept for preadolescent children. Steinbrenner. C. (1985). Jenkins. Received January 1985 Revision received March 7. S. CA: Sage. (1978). Behavioral development and construct validity: The principle of aggregation. Marsh.. K. B. G. & Tidman. Greenwald (Eds. (1983). The hierarchical structure of self-concept and the application of confirmatory hierarchical factor analysis. J. W. (1984). Social psychology of the self-concept (pp. NJ: Princeton University Press. (1975). J. (1982). Influence of individual and group identity salience in the global self-esteem of youth. 49. Masculinity. Shavelson. 94. D. On the structure of self-concept. Psychological Bulletin. ed. S. Developmental perspectives on the self-system. 53. N. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. & Pressley.. A. W. NJ: Erlbaum.. H. Multidimensional selfconcepts: The effect of participation in an Outward Bound program. The self-concept (rev. Taylor.). (1986). Rosenberg. C. Rosenberg & H. (1984). Higgins. Educational Psychologist. Self-concept: Its multifaceted. Social Cognition. M. (1985). J. Journal of Personality Assessment. Klein. J. In P. 3. J. 47. Tellegen. H. Hillsdale. J. & Strauman. Anxiety and cognitions (pp. 50. Psychological androgyny: A review and reformulation of theories. Harter. R. & Hall. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 42. 407441. L. (1986). New York: Wiley. (1985). Brainerd. W.. S. 87-97.. Hillsdale.. (1982). & Shavelson. Rosenberg. Psychological determinants and consequences of female sports involvement. Barnes. 1360-1377. Rushton. T. & Taylor. pp.. H.. (Vol. Journal of Educational Measurement. and androgyny viewed and assessed as distinct concepts. Jackson. Schwarzer (Ed. Wylie. University of Sydney.). Multivariate Behavioral Research.. H. & O'Niell. 51-76.. & Butcher. Self-esteem: Its conceptualization and measurement. 153-174. methods and conclusions. Edinburgh. (in press).