Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychological Science (MSPS)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Susan Perez

Second Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Brown

Third Advisor

Dr. Alexandra Schonning

Department Chair

Dr. Lori Lange

College Dean

Dr. Kaveri Subrahmanyam


The primary goal of this research was to compare academic self-concepts and adaptive and maladaptive perfectionistic tendencies as they relate to differences in mathematics performance of first-year undergraduate students’ gender and major (STEM or non-STEM). One hundred and ninety-nine first-year undergraduate students completed self-reported questionnaires including the Frost Multidimensions Perfectionism Scale, the academic self-concept scale of the Personal and Academic Self-Concept Scale (PASCI), and a math performance measure consisting of practice SAT questions. This study utilized correlational, multivariate analyses of variances (MANOVA), and multiple regression techniques. MANOVA results revealed a main effect of gender on all variables and a marginally significant effect of major on participants math performance. Correlational analysis examined the associations between the variables of interest. Results revealed significant expected associations between math performance and academic self-concept, and maladaptive perfectionism and academic self-concept. An unexpected finding was the association between parental influence on choosing a major and lower levels of academic self-concept. Hierarchical regression examined the effects of academic self-concept, adaptive perfectionism, and maladaptive perfectionism on math performance, controlling for gender and major. Results confirmed that gender and major were significant predictors of math performance. Academic self-concept was also a significant predictor of math performance. Finally, adaptive and maladaptive perfectionism were marginally significant predictors of math performance scores above and beyond all other variables. Overall, results indicate the importance of considering choice of major, academic self-concept, and perfectionism constructs in math performance.

Included in

Psychology Commons