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					      How do they see themselves:
  Assessing the self-concepts of Hong Kong
   young people in a cosmopolitan context

         Christopher H K Cheng, PhD
         City University of Hong Kong

     “Understanding Hong Kong Youth Symposium”
The Eighth International Conference on Language and Social
        Psychology, July 10-14, 2002, Hong Kong.
                    Outline
Part 1: How do Hong Kong young people see
  themselves?
• Content structure (configuration) of self-concept
• Age and gender characteristics


Part 2: Comparing the self-concept of young
  people from three cosmopolitan cities:
  Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia
                                             General
General:
                                           Self-Concept



Academic
and Non-                   Academic                          Social              Emotional         Physical
Academic                  Self-Concept                    Self-Concept          Self-Concept     Self-Concept
Self-Concept:


Subareas
of Self-        English   History   Math    Science       Peers   Significant    Particular    Physical       Physical
Concept:
                                                                      Others     Emotional      Ability   Appearance
                                                                                   States




Evaluation of
Behavior in
Specific
Situations:




                  Shavelson et al.’s (1976) model of self-concept
     Configuration of Hong Kong
      Adolescents’ Self-Concept
• Emic and qualitative approach
Considerations:
• Potential “imposed etic” problem of
  imported scales
• Cultural sensitivity and validity (use of
  language?)
• Psychmetric properties
(Berry, 1980; Bochner, 1994; Hui & Triandis, 1985;
  Markus & Kitayama, 1991; Yang & Bond, 1990)
             Assessing the Self

• From the talks and written
  responses to the classical
  “Who Am I” procedure (Kuhn
  & McPartland, 1954), a number
  of self-descriptors categories
  were generated.
    Appearance & Attractiveness                                  Filial piety
  肥瘦高矮、四眼(帶眼鏡)、身材                                           尊敬老人家、聽父母
  好、樣子甜美、醜樣                                                 話、激父母、亂「洗」                  Personality
                                      Family relations      父母錢、孝順
                                                                                     開朗、活躍、文靜、
 Physical & Non-                                                                     被動、內向/外向
                                      關心家人、喜歡和
academic abilities                    家人一起、不想講
                                      我屋企人
身體弱/強、健康、喜
歡游泳、反應快、有音
                                                              Social relations
樂天份                     Academic abilities                   有義氣、齊齊玩、
                                                             「八卦」、不合群
                        成績普通、老師成日                                                   Social manner
                        針對我、沒有進步、
                                                                                 文靜、斯文、大方得體、
                        不能升預科
 General intellectual                                    Rule-abiding,           儀態得體、有禮貌
      abilities                                          self discipline
記性好、醒目、富創作力、                                        情緒化、脾氣差、
蠢、聰明、有分析力                      Academic attitude    有耐性、做事有原
                                 & orientation      則、無厘頭
                                                                                Virtues & Conduct
                              有恆心、上堂留心、心
                              散,不專心上課、有上                                   不貪心、為人誠實、有責
          General             進心                                           任心、為人著想、對人坦
                                                    Social skills          白、心地善良、老實
    失敗、有自信、獨特、
    信自己                                      口材好、有幽默感、害羞、
                                             廣結朋友、不曉得與人溝通
                                                    General
                                                  Self-Esteem




        Physical                Social                Family              Intellectual               Moral
                                 Self                  Self                   Self                   Self
          Self




 Physical      Sport       Social     Social    Family     Filial   Academic     Intellectual    Virtue    Discipline
Attractive-      &        relations   Skills   Relations   piety     abilities     abilities       &        & Self-
   ness       Physical                                                                          Conduct     Control
              abilities
                                                                                                    Altruism




                     A conceptual structure of Hong Kong
                     adolescents’ self-concepts.
              The CASES
• Based on the content analysis of the emic
  study, through vigorous instrumentation
  procedures, a measuring instrument called
  the Chinese Adolescent Self Esteem Scales
  (CASES) was developed.
Table 1: Means, SD, and Internal Consistency Reliability of
CASES
        Scales           No. of Items       Cronbach’s Alpha
        General               8                    .82
        Social                10                   .83
     Intellectual             10                   .81
    Appearance                8                    .81
        Moral                 8                    .80
        Family                8                    .83
   Physical/sport             8                    .89
         Total                60                   .93

N=558
              The CASES
• Testing the measurement models (i.e. the
  conceptual structure that the CASES
  measures) – SEM using LISREL
• One general factor or multiple factors?
• How many? One level or hierarchical?
              Social           Family


 Physical                                 General
Appearance



  Sport & Physical
      Abilities
                                        Intellectual

                       Moral
 Table 2: Goodness-of-fit statistics of CASES competing models

 Model *                             c2        d.f.     Dc2/d.f.      CFI      NNFI      RMSEA

 M1: One general factor           3029.39      349         n/a        .597      .564       .117
 model
 M2: First order six              1369.70      335       118.55       .845      .825      .0745
 correlated factors model

 M3: First order seven             767.65      329       100.34       .934      .924      .0489
 correlated factors model

 M4: Hierarchical seven            802.70      338        3.89        .930      .922      .0497
 correlated factors model

* M2: Six-factors model formed by combining Physical Appearance and Physical/Sports Abilities
to one factor.
* M4: Hierarchical model formed by the General Self scale at the apex with the six domain-
specific scales at the base, all seven factors were correlated.
Dc2/d.f. (Ratio of the differential chi-square to differential degrees of freedom) was obtained by
comparing the differential statistics between the said model and the preceding model. A statistic of
6.63 and 3.84 is deemed to be significant at .01 and .05 significance levels respectively.
       Confirmatory Factor Analysis
       (Structural Equation Modeling)

Confirmed:
• Six domain specific factors and one general
  factor
• Hierarchical model supported
                   Intellectual Self



                     Social Self



                     Moral Self


General
                      Family Self
 Self
                       Physical
                    Appearance Self



                    Physical Abilities
                      & Sport Self

   Structural Model of the CASES
Table 3: Correlation between latent factors of the CASES (Hong Kong sample)

                   General     Social   Intellectual   Appearance      Moral   Family   Physical

 General              1.0

 Social               .64       1.0

 Intellectual         .81       .55         1.0

 Appearance           .77       .52         .62           1.0

 Moral                .49       .45         .39           .40           1.0

 Family               .39       .30         .29           .31           .34     1.0

 Physical/Sport       .48       .37         .44           .49           .20     .21       1.0

*All coefficients significant at p<.01, and were obtained by LISREL.
                         Age Differences
Table 4: Age Differences on Multiple Self-Concepts
                                   Age Groups

Scales                   11-13   14-15    16-17      18-20   F-tests
General                  4.43    4.43      4.48      4.44    .15 ns

Social                   6.01    6.05      5.97      5.82    1.38 ns

Intellectual             4.29    3.98      4.14      4.19    3.36 *

Appearance               3.90    3.97      3.98      4.04    .52 ns

Moral                    4.57    4.61      4.88      5.04    11.84 *

Family                   4.80    4.86      4.93      4.93    .66 ns

Physical/Sport           4.19    4.12      4.23      4.18    .65 ns

* p < .01, d.f.=1, 829
ns = non-significant
              Age Trends in Moral Self and Intellectual Self

       5.5


        5
Mean




       4.5
                                                               Intellectual
                                                               Moral
        4


       3.5
             11-13      14-15         16-17      18-20
                                Age
               Age Differences
• Moral self increased with age (linear
  contrast significant)

• Intellectual self changed in a quadratic
  fashion – rapid drop from age 12 to age 14
  (i.e. F.1 to F.3), then some recovery in
  higher forms
                         Gender Differences
Table 5: Gender Differences on Multiple Self-Concepts

Scales                   Boys           Girls           F-tests
General                  4.56            4.36           7.63 *

Social                   5.91            6.05           3.25 ns

Intellectual             4.13            4.12           .01 ns

Appearance               4.12            3.85           14.96 *

Moral                    4.64            4.85           11.37 *

Family                   4.77            4.98           8.24 *

Physical/Sport           4.66            3.85           77.99 *

* p < .01, d.f.=1, 829
ns = non-significant
                             Self-Concept Means of Boys and Girls
        6.5

         6

        5.5
                                                                                                     Boys
Means




         5
                                                                                                     Girls
        4.5

         4

        3.5

         3
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                                                                                     Ph
                                                      Self-Concept Facets
                                   Boys high:
    Girls high:              Physical self-concepts
Moral self-concept             (incl. appearance &
Family self-concept            physical abilities)
                             General self-esteem




 ~ similar levels in Social Self and Intellectual Self ~
 Comparing the self-concepts of
   young people from three
cosmopolitan cities: Hong Kong,
    Singapore, and Sydney
Table 6: Comparing the multiple self-concepts across Australia,
Singapore and Hong Kong
                          Australia                 Singapore                  Hong Kong
Scales                                                                                              F-tests
                           M(s.d.)                   M(s.d.)                    M(s.d.)
General                    4.32(.93)                 4.09(.93)                  3.49(.93)           49.60*

Social                     4.02(.77)                 3.89(.77)                  3.31(.78)           58.08*

Intellectual               3.34(.93)                 3.47(.93)                  3.03(.93)           14.21*

Appearance                 3.37(.87)                 2.98(.87)                  2.88(.87)           19.54*

Moral                      4.34(.71)                 4.14(.71)                  3.50(.70)           92.72*

Family                     3.18(.87)                 4.04(.87)                  3.45(.87)           59.12*

Physical/Sport            3.80(1.19)                3.47(1.18)                 3.30(1.12)           10.38*

Notes:
All multivariate tests (Pillai’s, Wilks, Hotelling’s) significant at p<.001.
* p< .01, N(Singapore)=249, N(Australia)=211, N(Hong Kong)=251, d.f.=2,708
# Post-hoc tests of the underlined pairs were non-signficant, all other pairwise comparisons were
significant at p<.01.
 Comparing young people in Hong Kong,
       Singapore, and Australia
General self-esteem   Physical self-concepts   Social & Intellectual
                        (appearance and          self-concepts
                            abilities)
Moral Self   Family Self
Reflection 1:Developmental Differences
Intellectual Self shows a clear drop from F.1 to F.3,
  then some recovery from F.4 onward, similar to other
  research (e.g. Cole et al., 2001; Lau, 1990; Marsh, 1989)
• Physical, cognitive, social transitions: Educational
  transition can be detrimental (Cole et al., 2001; Harter, 1998)
Moral Self shows a linear rise: consistent with
 cognitive development (from concrete to formal
 operations), i.e. adolescents are becoming more
 confident of their moral/ethical selves during their
 maturation
But no significant changes in other facets (incl. general
  self-esteem) – quite stable
Reflections 2: Gender Differences

Consistent with gender-role stereotypes, but
 boys tend to have higher general self-esteem
• Social desirability of masculine stereotypes?
• Impacts of the new secondary school
  placement allocation (SSPA) system?
Reflection 3: Challenges
Self-concepts of H.K. youth rather low but not
  entirely grim, e.g. similar to Singapore youth in
  family and physical self-concepts (incl.
  appearance & abilities)
• Need to note the weak facets – in particular
  intellectual & social self-concepts (academic
  pressure? peer’s acceptance? self-expectation and
  parent’s aspiration?)
• More work on enhancing self-esteem and self-
  efficacy in these facets is necessary (Note:
  enhancing specific facets will automatically
  enhance general self-esteem)

				
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posted:4/30/2011
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