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This research examined the direction of causal flow between global and specific dimensions of self-concept. Although the multidimensionality of self-concept has been strongly supported in the literature, the hierarchical nature of self-concept has not been established. With the use of structural equation modeling, the hierarchical nature of self-concept was tested using the Physical Self-Perception Profile (PSPP) model both with and without global self-esteem included. Adolescent girls (N = 618) completed the PSPP and Harter’s global self-esteem scale during class time in Grade 9 and a year later in Grade 10. When horizontal effects were included in the self-concept models across age, there was little support for either top-down or bottom-up effects. This contrasted with the results found when the analysis was conducted within each time period separately. This research provides further evidence against the hierarchical model of self-concept and highlights the importance of examining the hierarchical nature of self-concept over time.
K.C. Kowalski, N.P. Kowalski, K.E. Chad, and M.L. Humbert are with the College of Kinesiology, Univ. of Saskatchewan, 105 Gymnasium Place, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 5C2 Canada; P.R.E. Crocker is with the School of Human Kinetics at the Univ. of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z1 Canada.