Special Education ETDs


Celia Shore

Publication Date



The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between field dependence (Witkin, et al., 1954, 1962) and academic self-concept. The relationship between body concept and field dependence was further examined. The sample was randomly selected from the sixth grade population at a suburban New Mexico elementary school located in a predominantly white middle class neighborhood with some Black and Mexican-American children. Subjects were administered the Short Form Test of Academic Aptitude, the Group Embedded Figures Test, the Behavioral Q Sort, and the Draw-a­Person Test which was scored with the Witkin Sophistication Scale. The Group Embedded Figures Test was the measure of fieId dependence; the Witkin Sophistication Scale was used to measure body concept; and the Behavioral Q Sort was the measure of academic self-concept. Data were organized to test the relationship between the Group Embedded Figures Test, the Behavioral Q Sort, the Short Form Test of Academic Aptitude, and the Draw-a-Person Test. Product-moment correlations were used to analyze the various relationships. In addition to analyses of the total data, comparisons were also made between the male and female groups. The findings for the Group Embedded Figures Test and Behavioral Q Sort did not support the specific hypothesis that a good academic self-concept is positively related to field independence. This relationship was significant for males, but not for females. Intelligence scores and field dependence were significantly related for the total group and for males, but not for females. The some pattern of correlations existed between intelligence and self-concept and between body concept and field independence. In summary, the results of this study indicate a significant relationship between academic self-concept for elementary school males, but not for females. The present study also supports Witkin's (1962) findings regarding a significant relationship between ‘sophistication-of-body-concept' and greater differentiation in children. The results also indicate a very significant relationship between general intelligence scores and field dependence.

Document Type




Degree Name

Special Education

Level of Degree


Department Name

Special Education

First Committee Member (Chair)

Billy Leslie Watson

Second Committee Member

Glenn Van Etten

Third Committee Member

Roger Lee Kroth