Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services - Urban Education

Committee Director

David I. Joyner

Committee Member

Jane Meeks

Committee Member

Jack Robinson


This ex post facto study compared the self-concepts of seniors from three Christian high schools in southeastern Virginia with three public high schools located in the same cities. One intact classroom from each school was employed, making a total of 147 subjects.

A one-way multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) was conducted to maximize the power of discrimination of the Tennessee Self-Concept Scale (TSCS) by predicting the best linear combination of dependent variables after statistically adjusting for covariates. Performance on five of the subscales was judged not to be related to potential differences between the two types of schools and those five scales were used as covariates to control for potential differences between the two groups. A stepwise regression analysis was performed as an additional check on the data. The results were redundant to those obtained with the MANCOVA.

Based on the data analysis, there was support for the hypothesis that Christian school seniors score higher than public school seniors on the three dependent variables associated with the self-concept of respondents as measured by the TSCS: Moral-Ethical Self score, Behavior score and Self-Satisfaction score, after adjusting for the covariates (Identity score, Physical Self score, Personal Self score, Family Self score, and Social Self score). However, the difference between the two groups on the Self-Satisfaction score was not great enough to be statistically significant. The difference between the Christian and the public groups on the Moral-Ethical Self subscale was significant at the.01 level. The Behavior scale difference was significant at the.05 level. Therefore, it can be concluded that, as measured by the TSCS, the Moral-Ethical category is the most powerful differentiator between the two groups. The Behavior subscale also discriminates between the public and Christian school groups, but at a lesser level. The theoretical implications of these differences are discussed in the literature review and the interpretation of results.