In self-concept research, there is a dearth of longitudinal studies which examine whether the structure of the two-factor self-concept consisting of competence and affect is stable across time. Using data collected among 608 (male = 294, females = 313, 1 missing gender information). Chinese secondary students from 7th grade (M age = 13.41, SD = 1.35) to 9th grade, the study used confirmatory factor analyses to compare the internal structure of separating and conflating competence and affect of the general school self-concept. The structural equation modeling (SEM) was then applied to examine longitudinal relations between competence, affect, and academic achievement. Consistently across the three time points, the two-factor self-concept structure was favored. However, SEM showed that the reciprocal effects were obtained only between competence and achievement from grade 7 to 8 but not from grade 8 to 9 and not between affect and achievement. Such inconsistency could be attributed to the transition from pre-puberty to adolescence.
Competence Affect Academic achievement Longitudinal relations Chinese secondary students