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Both academic self-concept and interest are considered domain-specific constructs. Previous research has not yet explored how the composition of the courses affects the domain-specificity of these constructs. Using data from a large-scale study in Germany, we compared ninth-grade students who were taught science as an integrated subject with students who were taught biology, chemistry, and physics separately with regard to the dimensional structure of their self-concepts and interests. Whereas the structure of the constructs was six-dimensional in both groups (self-concept and interest factors for biology, chemistry, and physics), the correlations between the domain-specific factors were higher in the integrated group. Furthermore, the pattern of gender differences differed across groups. Whereas male students generally showed higher self-concept and interest in physics and chemistry, a small advantage for male students in biology was only present in integrated science teaching group. We conclude that aspects of the learning environment such as course composition may affect the dimensional structure of motivational constructs.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

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Open Access Journal Article

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Open Access

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Available for download on Monday, November 23, 2020