Self-esteem of elementary students: Effects of gifted program nomination and selection
This study examined the possible effects on the self-concept of (a) students nominated and accepted into a gifted program, and (b) students nominated and not accepted, as measured by pre- and post-tests on the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale. The subjects for this study were the 207 third-, fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade students referred for screening for a district's gifted program.
A pre-test using the Piers-Harris Scale was given in conjunction with the district's gifted program screening procedures. After student notification of acceptance or non-acceptance, the post-test was given. It was hypothesized that there would be no significant difference in the post-test mean scores of students accepted into the gifted program (Group I) and students not accepted (Group II). An analysis of covariance was used to test the hypotheses. The hypotheses examined differences by group, gender, grade, and individual sub-tests of the self-concept scale.
Null Hypothesis I of no significant difference in the post-test mean scores of the subjects in Group I and Group II using the pre-test as a covariate was rejected at the.02 level. Students not accepted (Group II) had significantly higher self-concept scores than Group I. Null Hypothesis 2 of no significant difference in the post-test mean scores by gender was rejected at the.004 level. Males accepted into the gifted program scored significantly lower than males not accepted. Males accepted scored significantly lower than both females accepted and females not accepted. Null Hypothesis 3 of no significant difference in the scores by group by grade level was accepted. Null Hypothesis 4 of no significant difference in the scores by group by sub-test was accepted on all sub-tests except for "Behavior", which was rejected at the.003 level.
The results of this study indicate that the students' self-concepts were not diminished by non-acceptance into the gifted program. Since the accepted students' lower self-concept scores may be short-lived, giving an additional post-test after approximately a year is recommended.