The early transition to secondary school in Germany
Effects on the level and relations of self-esteem
This chapter focuses on students' self-esteem in the context of the transition to secondary school in Germany which already takes place after grade 4 and might thus be detached from puberty. The transition to secondary school could affect the mean level of self-esteem as well as its relations to domain-specific facets of self-concept.
These issues were examined by comparing German 4th grade and 5th grade students. To gain insights into possible rebound effects, students attending grades 5 and 6 were also compared. Two self-esteem measures were applied in order to test the generalizability of the findings. For both measures, 4th grade students were found to display higher self-esteem mean levels than 5th grade students implying a negative impact of an early transition. As 5th grade students revealed higher self-esteem mean levels than 6th grade students, self-esteem seems also to suffer from an ongoing decline during adolescence. With regard to the relations of self-esteem to domain-specific self-concept facets, the self-esteem of students after transition tended to be more loosely related to academic self-concept than the self-esteem of students before transition. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the findings and suggestions for further research.
Arens, A. Katrin: The early transition to secondary school in Germany. Effects on the level and relations of self-esteem, in: Borders, J. H. (ed.): Handbook on the psychology of self-esteem, New York: Nova Science Publishers (2014), 71-90