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The often observed decline in students’ self-perceptions across transition to secondary school after grade 6 is often attributed to students’ entry to puberty. This study aims to examine whether lowered self-perceptions can be observed after transition in Germany which occurs after grade 4 and thus takes place before puberty. Fifth graders (N = 307) were found to be lower in self-esteem, academic competence perceptions, and academic affect than 4th graders (N = 318). No mean differences were found for physical appearance and peer self-concepts. Boys and girls did not differ in their reactions to transition. Hence, students’ lowered self-perceptions after transition may be predominantly attributed to the transition itself rather than to the co-occurrence of transition and puberty.

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Journal Article

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