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Self-Confidence in 4th and 9th Grades: Differences between Age, Gender and School Subjects

Kristine Kampmane, Andrejs Geske, Antra Ozola
University of Latvia, Latvia

Abstract. This study focused on students’ self-confidence and analyzed the relationship between self-confidence and gender, age, subject, achievement, and other variables. The students from Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Poland, Germany, Sweden, and Denmark were compared. The authors of this research analyzed the data from three large scale studies and compared 4th and 15-year-old students’ self-confidence in reading, Mathematics, and Science. IEA TIMSS2019 and PIRLS2016 for 4th grade students and OECD PISA2012, PISA2015, and PISA2018 for 15-year-old students (further in the study referred to as 9th grade students). The data analysis was performed on each above-mentioned study and each cycle separately.
The authors of this research quartered all students into four self-confidence groups and performed linear regression analysis where self-confidence was the dependent variable and other described variables – independent. The authors compared students from the lowest and the highest self-confidence groups.
Reading achievement was a strong predictor of reading self-confidence for both grade levels and both self-confidence groups. Mathematics achievement was an equally strong predictor of both self-confidence groups in the 4th grade while in the 9th grade, it was strongly related to the highest self-confidence group. Science achievement wasn’t significantly nor strongly related to any of the self-confidence groups or grades.
The fact that students like/enjoy reading/Mathematics/Science was a strong predictor of reading/Mathematics/Science self-confidence in both grade and self-confidence groups, but for students in the lowest self-confidence group this factor was more strongly related to self-confidence. Mathematics anxiety was strongly and negatively related to self-confidence.

Keywords: Large scale assessments, academic self-confidence, academic self-concept, 4th grade, 15-year-old, OECD PISA, IEA TIMSS, IEA PIRLS

The publication was developed in the project No. “Participation in International Education Studies”, supported by the European Social Fund.

In: Human, Technologies and Quality of Education, 2023. Proceedings of Scientific Papers = Cilvēks, tehnoloģijas un izglītības kvalitāte, 2023. Rakstu krājums
Riga, University of Latvia, 2023. 796 p. Ed. L. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-36-116-6