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Self-Concept, Motivation, and Identity: Underpinning Success with Research and Practice

reviewed by Karrie A. Shogren - March 10, 2016

coverTitle: Self-Concept, Motivation, and Identity: Underpinning Success with Research and Practice
Author(s): Frédéric Guay, Herbert Marsh, Dennis M. McInerney, Rhonda G. Craven (Eds.)
Publisher: Information Age Publishing, Charlotte
ISBN: 1681231670, Pages: 356, Year: 2015
Search for book at Amazon.com

Frédéric Guay, Herbert Marsh, Dennis M. McInerney, and Rhonda G. Craven highlight the importance of understanding self-concept, motivation, and identity given their central roles in driving human behavior in the preface to their new book. Self-Concept, Motivation, and Identity: Underpinning Success with Research and Practice explores these behavioral constructs from varying theoretical and empirical perspectives. The editors differentiate this volume from others in the series International Advances in Self-Research by focusing on empirical evidence of the importance of self-theory and its application to practice. Their focus on explicating theory and research while linking them to practice across multiple domains is timely. The editors also recognize that issues related to self-concept, motivation, and identity must be understood when attempting to impact practice. The chapters in this volume focus on multiple contexts (e.g., education, health, and career), reflect the growing recognition of person-environment fit models of human functioning, and demonstrate the diverse ways that contexts shape and are shaped by human behavior.

Guay, Marsh, McInerney, and Craven assemble a diverse array of international authors to present multiple theoretical perspectives on research and practice. The cross cutting theme focusing on theory and empirical research with application to future research, practice, and success is clearly reflected in each chapter. This leads to compelling presentations of emerging research and theory across domains with targeted applications in specific areas like education, political behavior, health behavior, and career development.

Several theories relevant to self-concept, motivation, and identity are targeted in specific chapters or embedded in broader discussions in others. For example, several chapters address theory and research on self-regulation. The first chapter explores the relationship between self-regulation and identity processes in adolescence with a focus on the relations between intentional self-regulation and identity processes. Another chapter examines the role of personal agency in self-regulation and the role of goal setting. Still another chapter investigates the role of self-regulation in health behavior change, perceived self-efficacy, and the multiple ways it can operate depending on context. There are also a series of chapters on motivation, its applications, and associated research. For example, a chapter on homework examines the role of motivation in homework and collects educational and psychological research to explore implications for future work on the mechanisms of homework and student success. Another chapter synthesizes philosophical and psychological research on motivation and weaves together these lines of work to introduce a conceptual framework for future research and practice. Self-Concept, Motivation, and Identity also delves into issues related to self-efficacy, its relation to confidence, application in career theory, and its relationship to achievement and the self, self-growth, and self-protection. Theories related to self-presentation, dimensional comparison, and the relationship between identity and motivation in school contexts are also explored.

Several chapters highlight multiple theoretical perspectives and systematically link them to the concept of self. Other debates in the field are also discussed, like differences between confidence and self-efficacy and understandings of motivation and its relation to other constructs and theoretical perspectives

The scope of topics in Self-Concept, Motivation, and Identity is broad but readers will find critical information on theoretical perspectives and emerging research that could direct future research and practice. This book will be particularly useful for researchers focused on applications across domains and life stages or readers interested in exploring the relationship between theory and research in the domains of self-concept, motivation, and identity. A useful feature of the text is its investigation of the relationship among these theories and constructs and its highlighting of research and practice directions across contexts. Most chapters include specific applications of the chapter content within or across domains and provide breadth and depth in possible applications for research. For example, the chapter on the development of identity and motivation in the school context ends with implications for research and practice pertaining to teachers and peers.

Overall, ongoing work is needed to theorize, research, and apply understandings of the self that reflect the complex interplay between multiple factors both internal and external to each person. Self-Concept, Motivation, and Identity advances work in this area, and provides guidance for scholars working to integrate theoretical perspectives across contexts and through multiple theoretical perspectives and research lines.

Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: March 10, 2016
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 19567, Date Accessed: 12/7/2021 10:50:36 AM

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About the Author
  • Karrie Shogren
    Kansas University
    E-mail Author
    KARRIE A. SHOGREN, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education, co-Director of the Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities, and Associate Director of the Beach Center on Disability. Dr. Shogren's research focuses on self-determination and systems of support for students with disabilities and she has a specific interest in the multiple, nested contextual factors that impact student outcomes. Dr. Shogren has published over 85 articles in peer-reviewed journals, is the author or co-author of 10 books, and is one of the co-authors of Intellectual Disability: Definition, Classification, and Systems of Support, the 11th Edition of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities' seminal definition of intellectual disability (formerly mental retardation) as well as the Supports Intensity Scale-Children’s and Adult Version. Dr. Shogren has received grant funding from several sources, including the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) and National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). Dr. Shogren is co-Editor of Inclusion and Remedial and Special Education, and Associate Editor of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Remedial and Special Education.
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