The effects of Pumsy in Pursuit of Excellence Program upon the self-concept of fourth-grade students

Julie Ann Kummer, Marquette University


This research was undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of the Pumsy in Pursuit of Excellence Program on children's self-concept (ages 9-11). It was intended to help remedy the deficiency of research regarding the effectiveness of this Pumsy program, a guide for teaching self-esteem. To date, this Pumsy program is being used in over 16,000 elementary schools, and only one study has investigated the effects of this program on self-concept. Three fourth grade classes of 20 students each in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, area were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: The Pumsy in Pursuit of Excellence group, a children's support group, and a wait-list control group. The Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale (CSCS) and the Adjective Generation Technique (AGT) were administered to the Pumsy, Support, and Control groups prior to and immediately following the five weeks of group sessions, as well as four weeks following the conclusion of the treatment. A repeated measures ANOVA with Post Hoc tests (p set at.05) was used to determine if there were significant differences among the three groups on all dependent variables at pre, post, and follow-up test phases. A significant interaction effect was found for the CSCS Total self-concept score as well as for four of the CSCS's subscales. No significant ANOVAS were found for the AGT scales. Significant changes appear to be due to the Support and Control groups significantly increasing their scores on these CSCS scales, while the Pumsy group did not. These results seem to indicate one or a combination of three things: (1) the Pumsy program is not sufficiently powerful to impact children's self-concept, (2) weaknesses in the present research design confounded the results, and/or, (3) the instruments used were not sensitive enough to detect possible changes. Schools need to be cautious in assuming that the Pumsy program will enhance children's self-esteem. Under different research conditions the Pumsy program may improve self-esteem, but that is not known at this point. Further research is needed.

Recommended Citation

Kummer, Julie Ann, "The effects of Pumsy in Pursuit of Excellence Program upon the self-concept of fourth-grade students" (1993). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI9325683.