The Structure and Measurement of Self-Concept for University Students

Document Type

Book Chapter


Nova Science Publishers Inc


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences


School of Education




This chapter was originally published as: Waugh, R. F. (2003). The structure and measurement of self-concept for university students. In Serge P. Shohov (Ed.), Topics in Cognitive Psychology (pp. 1-11). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers Inc.Original book available here.


The current model of the structure of academic self-concept involving separate maths and verbal domains plus separate subject self-concepts linked with a hierarchical general academic self-concept that is related strongly to each of the separate subject self-concepts, as proposed by Marsh and Shavelson (1985), is called into question. Advances in designing questionnaires to measure self-concept are described. Recent evidence involving the proper linear measurement of academic self-concept for university students (using the new questionnaires and a recently developed computer program based on a Rasch measurement model) support a different model of the formation and creation of academic self-concept. It is suggested that self-concept formation is dependent on at least four views of a subject or performance: an idealistic view, a capability view, a realistic view, and a self-view of their corresponding achievement in the subject or performance.