Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Edgar A. Kelley

Second Advisor

Dr. David Cowden

Third Advisor

Dr. Norman McRae


The self-concepts of 232 fourth and fifth grade students in nine classroom groups were measured by use of the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory (SEI). Each student completed the SEI, and the classroom teacher for each student completed the SEI for the students who were the subjects of the study. The subjects were from a medium-sized urban school district and from a lower or middle class socioeconomic background.

Data from the administration of the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory are reported as five separate scores: (a) general concept, (b) social-self-peers, (c) home-parents, (d) school-academic, and (e) total concept.

Data for the subjects were aggregated and t tests were used to test eight research questions posed for this study. The major tests were for differences in self-esteem as reported by male students when compared to female students and differences in self-concept as perceived by the students when their perceptions were compared to teacher perceptions. An alpha level of .05 was used as the level of statistical significance.

The findings of this study are similar to findings reported in research studies reviewed in the design of this study. Female students had higher self-concepts than male students in two areas--school-academic and total concept--while no significant differences were found in other areas. Teachers' perceptions of student self-concept were higher than the self-concept reported by students. Differences in teacher ratings and student ratings were statistically significant. The only exception was school-academic self-concept of female students.

The findings of this study failed to support the assumption made in the study that teacher perceptions of student self-concept would be statistically similar to student self ratings of self-concept.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access