Gender Differences in Children’s Math Self-Concept in the First Years of Elementary School

Sven Lindberg, Janosch Linkersdörfer, Jan-Henning Ehm, Marcus Hasselhorn, Jan Lonnemann


In the course of elementary school children start to develop an academic self-concept reflecting their motivation,
thoughts, and feelings about a specific domain. For the domain of mathematics, gender differences can emerge
which are characterized by a less pronounced math self-concept for girls. However, studies are rather sparse
regarding the early years of elementary school education, hence, the point in time when such gender differences
emerge yet remains a matter of debate. In our study, we found that the math self-concept of elementary school
children (n = 81) declined from first to second grade. While no differences in math achievement were observed
between girls and boys, it became apparent that girls’ math self-concept was already less pronounced than the
math self-concept of boys in the first years of elementary school. Our findings emphasize the importance of
considering such gender differences even at the beginning of school education.

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Journal of Education and Learning   ISSN 1927-5250 (Print)   ISSN 1927-5269 (Online)


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