Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Education (EdD)



Department name when degree awarded

Educational Psychology


David R. Stone


The study investigated the relationship between defensiveness scores and self- report scores as they interrelate in the assessment of self - concept and its change. Data were analyzed to determine if self- report scores adjusted by regression for defensiveness would be more congruent with a criterion measure than unadjusted scores.

A secondary problem was to evaluate the extent to which the self criticism scale on the Tennessee Self Concept Scale (TSCS) and the self report vs. objective rating discrepancy method would identify the same individuals as defensive.

Samples were drawn from a population of adolescent Navajo boarding school students. A treatment sample participated in an individualized physical education program. A control sample participated in a more traditional , group oriented physical education program. The purpose for having comparison groups was to assess the differential effects which the two settings might provide in the relationship between defensiveness and self report as they interact in assessment.

The self-criticism scale on the TSCS was used as a measure of defensiveness. The total p scale on the TSCS was used as a measure of self report. A behavior check list was designed, tested, and used as a criterion measure to rate behavior for inference of self-concept.

Findings were:

  1. The correlations between defensiveness scores and self-report were significantly larger than zero in all cases.

  2. The correlations between changes of scores (between pretest and posttest) for defensiveness and changes of self-report scores were significantly larger than zero in the treatment and control groups.

  3. Self-report scores adjusted for defensiveness were significantly different from unadjusted scores; however, adjusted scores did not correlate higher with a criterion measure (behavior check list scores) than unadjusted scores.

  4. Changes of self-report scores (between pretest and posttest ) adjusted by covariance with changes in defensive scores were significantly different from unadjusted changes of scores.

  5. The extent to which the self- criticism scale and the self-report vs. objective rating discrepancy method identified the same individuals was not significantly greater than zero. It was concluded in relation to the population studied that:
  • (a) Defensiveness and self-report scores are interrelated.
  • (b) Adjustments to self-report scores on the basis of defensiveness scores may be practical for counseling or case studies where an individual within a homogeneous norm group is considered; however, inasmuch as adjusted groups scores did not become more congruent with a criterion measure than unadjusted scores, further study of the nature of self concept and defensiveness assessment methods is needed.
  • (c) The self report vs. behavior rating discrepancy method is an impractical and undependable means by which to assess defensiveness .

  • (d) Whenever self concept is assessed by self report measures, defensiveness should be considered as a factor which can systematically contribute to the magnitude of self-report scores.