Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education and International Services


Educational Psychology, Ed.D.

First Advisor

Ruth Murdoch

Second Advisor

W. P. Blitchington

Third Advisor

W. G. A. Flutcher



Many of the difficulties which people experience are to a large extent the consequences of faulty perception of themselves. Academic success or failure appears to be deeply rooted in the person’s self-concept. The purpose of the study was to analyze the components of self-concept of inadequate and adequate adult readers to determine what patterns of self-concept emerge in various groups. Inadequate and adequate readers were grouped according to sex, race, age, and type of educational institution.


The Tennessee Self Concept Scale was selected for the study. Measuring positive self-concept, it is composed of five self-concept components—physical, moral-ethical, personal, family, and social— and three self-concept dimensions'—identity, self-satisfaction, and behavior. In addition the Michigan State General Self-Concept of Ability Scale was employed to measure academic self-concept.

Nine hypotheses were developed for the study. The first two compared the means of the total sample and ten subgroups to the normal population. This was tested by a z-test to compare a single sample mean to a hypothesized population mean with known variance. Four hypotheses dealt with comparing the centroids of self-concept dimensions and components of inadequate and adequate readers to the centroid of a normal population. These were tested by a one-sample T2 test. Three hypotheses were tested by discriminant analysis to determine which dimensions, components, and subcomponents exerted the greatest relative weights in separating the inadequate from the adequate readers. The 569 subjects for the study were drawn from the universities, community colleges, and continuing-education institutions of southwestern Michigan during the school year 1976-1977.


The self-concept mean of inadequate readers on the whole sample was significantly lower than that of the normal population. The self-concept mean of adequate readers on the whole sample was also significantly lower than the population mean. Nine out of ten of the subgroups of inadequate readers had mean self-concepts which were significantly lower than that of the normal population. Only the mean self-concept of inadequate black readers was similar to a normal population. Of the adequate-reader subgroups, six out of ten were significantly lower than the normal population.

The centroids of the dimensions of self-concept and the centroids of the components of self-concept were significantly lower than the population norm for both the inadequate and the adequate groups. In determining the relative weights of the dimensions, the components, and the subcomponents of self-concept to best separate • inadequate and adequate readers, it was found that the academic self- concept has the greatest weight for readers that were male and female and those who attended universities and community colleges.


On the basis of the findings the following conclusions emerged 1. Inadequate and adequate adult readers in this study have a lower self-concept than the normal population. 2. All categories of inadequate readers except black inadequate readers show significantly lower self-concepts than the normal population. 3. The centroid of the self-concept dimensions and self- concept components of inadequate and adequate readers were significantly different from the centroid of the normal population of the Tennessee Self Concept Scale. 4. On a linear combination of the components and subcomponents of self-concept, the positive academic self-concept exerts the greatest weight that significantly separates inadequate and adequate adult readers. 5. Fewer variables separate inadequate and adequate university-reading students than community college and continuing- education students. 6. The physical component and subcomponents of self-concept tended to characterize the inadequate readers at universities and continuing-education institutions while the academic self-concept characterized the adequate readers. 7. The moral-ethical self-concept somewhat characterized all adequate male and female, readers but strongly characterized the adequate readers from the continuing-education institutions.

Subject Area

Self-perception; Readers (Adult)


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