The Relationship of Self-Understanding in Childhood to Social Class, Community Type, and Teacher-Rated Intellectual and Social Competence

Daniel Hart, Wolfgang Edelstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

The relationship of children's self-understanding to social class, community type (modem vs. traditional), and ratings made by teachers was investigated in Iceland. Subjects were seventy-three 12-year-olds in Reykjavik, distributed evenly across six social classes, and twenty-one 12-year-olds primarily from families in the lowest two social classes residing in two traditional rural communities. In clinical-developmental interviews, the children were asked to describe themselves. Responses were assigned to one of four content categories: physical (appearance and possessions), active (abilities and activities), social (social personality and relationships), or psychological (thoughts and feelings). Classroom teachers also rated children on scales of intellectual and social competence. As predicted, the results indicate that children in the higher social classes offered more psychological descriptors than those in the lower social classes. Children rated as intellectually and socially competent by their teachers described themselves more often in social terms. There was little evidence for an independent effect of community type on configurations of content in self-understanding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-365
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology

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