Classical latent profile analysis of academic self-concept dimensions: Synergy of person- and variable-centered approaches to theoretical models of self-concept

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In this investigation, we used a classic latent profile analysis (LPA), a person-centered approach, to identify groups of students who had similar profiles for multiple dimensions of academic self-concept (ASC) and related these LPA groups to a diverse set of correlates. Consistent with a priori predictions, we identified 5 LPA groups representing a combination of profile level (high vs. low overall ASC) and profile shape (math vs. verbal self-concepts) that complemented results based on a traditional variable-centered approach. Whereas LPA groups were substantially and logically related to the set of 10 correlates, much of the predictive power of individual ASC factors was lost in the formation of groups and the inclusion of the correlates into the LPA distorted the nature of the groups. LPA issues examined include distinctions between quantitative (level) and qualitative (shape) differences in LPA profiles, goodness of fit and the determination of the number of LPA groups, appropriateness of correlates as covariates or auxiliary variables, and alternative approaches to present and interpret the results.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

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Journal Article

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