Predictors of Self-Concept in Elementary School Pupils

Dejana Bouillet, Renata Miljević-Riđički


Research consistently shows the connection between self-concept in children and young
people and their social relations, which is also reflected in pupils’ attitudes towards
education. This paper analyses how family relations, peer relations and attitudes
towards education contribute to the global self-concept of male and female pupils
of 8 to 14 years of age. The research was conducted by using an extended version
of the Questionnaire for Planning Social-pedagogic Interventions. The research
sample consisted of 3,335 pupils from 43 Croatian elementary schools. This study
examines the hypothesis on differences in self-concept predictors between male and
female elementary school pupils, suggesting that in comparison with male pupils, the
self-concept of female pupils is more dependent on social relations and the level of
engagement in education. It was established that self-concept is relatively stable for
boys of 8-14 years of age while it becomes weaker among girls of 8 -14 years of age.
Statistically, for both male and female pupils, self-concept significantly depends on the
assessment of the quality of family relations, peer relations, and the attitude of pupils
towards education. The most important self-concept predictor among male pupils
is their relationship with their peers, and among female pupils it is family relations.
In addition, relationships with significant others and attitudes towards education
contribute more strongly to the self-concept of female pupils than it does with their
male peers.
Keywords: attitude towards education; family relations; peer relations; significant
others in school age

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