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Big fish in big ponds: Contrast and assimilation effects on math and verbal self-concepts of students in within-school gifted tracks.
Br J Educ Psychol. 2016 Jun; 86(2):222-40.BJ

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Ability grouping can lower students' academic self-perceptions through reference group effects of class-average achievement on academic self-concept (ASC) - the Big-fish-little-Pond-effect (BFLPE; Marsh & Parker, 1984, J. Pers. Soc. Psychol., 47, 213). Although the effect itself is well documented, many open questions remain. For instance, negative contrast effects of group average achievement and positive assimilation effects of group status are confounded in most BFLPE studies. For the verbal domain, no study has yet investigated contrast and assimilation effects simultaneously. Strong assimilation effects can be assumed for gifted ability grouping.

AIMS

We aimed at disentangling contrast and assimilation effects of full-time within-school gifted tracking on verbal ASC and math ASC.

SAMPLE

Students attended regular or gifted classes within the top track of German secondary schools. Our sample comprised 1,330 fifth-grade students (42 regular classes, n = 1,069, 48% female; 15 gifted classes, n = 261, 39% female).

METHODS

Using multilevel regression analyses, we simultaneously modelled negative contrast effects of class ability and positive assimilation effects of class type (regular vs. gifted) on ASC in math and the verbal domain.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS

In the mathematical domain, the assimilation effect, caused by membership in gifted classes, compensated for negative contrast effects of class-average achievement on ASC even after controlling for previous ASC. In the verbal domain, we found neither a significant contrast effect nor an assimilation effect. Implications for gifted education are discussed.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Free University of Berlin, Germany.University of Trier, Germany.Free University of Berlin, Germany.University of Trier, Germany.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

26689607

Citation

Herrmann, Julia, et al. "Big Fish in Big Ponds: Contrast and Assimilation Effects On Math and Verbal Self-concepts of Students in Within-school Gifted Tracks." The British Journal of Educational Psychology, vol. 86, no. 2, 2016, pp. 222-40.
Herrmann J, Schmidt I, Kessels U, et al. Big fish in big ponds: Contrast and assimilation effects on math and verbal self-concepts of students in within-school gifted tracks. Br J Educ Psychol. 2016;86(2):222-40.
Herrmann, J., Schmidt, I., Kessels, U., & Preckel, F. (2016). Big fish in big ponds: Contrast and assimilation effects on math and verbal self-concepts of students in within-school gifted tracks. The British Journal of Educational Psychology, 86(2), 222-40. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjep.12100
Herrmann J, et al. Big Fish in Big Ponds: Contrast and Assimilation Effects On Math and Verbal Self-concepts of Students in Within-school Gifted Tracks. Br J Educ Psychol. 2016;86(2):222-40. PubMed PMID: 26689607.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Big fish in big ponds: Contrast and assimilation effects on math and verbal self-concepts of students in within-school gifted tracks. AU - Herrmann,Julia, AU - Schmidt,Isabelle, AU - Kessels,Ursula, AU - Preckel,Franzis, Y1 - 2015/12/22/ PY - 2014/09/19/received PY - 2015/11/11/revised PY - 2015/12/23/entrez PY - 2015/12/23/pubmed PY - 2017/2/14/medline KW - ability grouping KW - academic self-concept KW - assimilation KW - big-fish-little-pond effect KW - gifted education SP - 222 EP - 40 JF - The British journal of educational psychology JO - Br J Educ Psychol VL - 86 IS - 2 N2 - BACKGROUND: Ability grouping can lower students' academic self-perceptions through reference group effects of class-average achievement on academic self-concept (ASC) - the Big-fish-little-Pond-effect (BFLPE; Marsh & Parker, 1984, J. Pers. Soc. Psychol., 47, 213). Although the effect itself is well documented, many open questions remain. For instance, negative contrast effects of group average achievement and positive assimilation effects of group status are confounded in most BFLPE studies. For the verbal domain, no study has yet investigated contrast and assimilation effects simultaneously. Strong assimilation effects can be assumed for gifted ability grouping. AIMS: We aimed at disentangling contrast and assimilation effects of full-time within-school gifted tracking on verbal ASC and math ASC. SAMPLE: Students attended regular or gifted classes within the top track of German secondary schools. Our sample comprised 1,330 fifth-grade students (42 regular classes, n = 1,069, 48% female; 15 gifted classes, n = 261, 39% female). METHODS: Using multilevel regression analyses, we simultaneously modelled negative contrast effects of class ability and positive assimilation effects of class type (regular vs. gifted) on ASC in math and the verbal domain. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: In the mathematical domain, the assimilation effect, caused by membership in gifted classes, compensated for negative contrast effects of class-average achievement on ASC even after controlling for previous ASC. In the verbal domain, we found neither a significant contrast effect nor an assimilation effect. Implications for gifted education are discussed. SN - 2044-8279 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/26689607/Big_fish_in_big_ponds:_Contrast_and_assimilation_effects_on_math_and_verbal_self_concepts_of_students_in_within_school_gifted_tracks_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1111/bjep.12100 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -