The effect of semantic conditioning on children's self -concept

Ellen Rettberg Reicher, Fordham University

Abstract

The goal of this study was to obtain positive changes in children's self-concept by using brief semantic conditioning that paired a child's first name (CS) with words having positive connotations (UCS). Eighty-four fourth grade students from two public schools participated in this study. This study utilized a repeated measures mixed experimental design with two between-subjects factors (2 schools, 3 groups). Both schools had three classes randomly assigned to three conditions, Experimental, Pseudo Treatment Control, or Neutral Control. Outcome criteria included the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale, the Self-Description Questionnaire-I, and spelling test grades. Several repeated measures ANCOVAs did not find that the groups' self-concept and academic scores differed over time. However, there was consistent support that significant changes occurred in self-concept and academic performance across the entire sample, regardless of group. Therefore, this study provided evidence that children's self-concept is malleable, even after a brief intervention. It is possible that any level of participation and attention is beneficial toward improving self-concept levels. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Behavioral|Psychology, Clinical|Psychology, Cognitive

Recommended Citation

Ellen Rettberg Reicher, "The effect of semantic conditioning on children's self -concept" (January 1, 2000). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI9964574.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9964574

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