Bibliographies of Camp-related Research

Bibliographies of Camp-related Research

An Experimental Study of the Effects of Competition on the Self-Concept
Flynn, T.M., & Beasleym J.
Adolescence, 15.6 (1980) 799-806

Examine the differential effect two award systems, the Danish system in which everyone is recognized at different levels and the English system in which there are a limited number of winners, have on self-concept. Additionally, determine the effect the award system has on the new camp reference group and the individual's need for maintaining his/her current self-concept.

130 urban children, 39% white and 61% African American attending a 5 day 4-H summer camp program. Approximately ½ male and ½ female, ages 8-13 years. Random assignment was made to 4 groups. 41 subjects were placed in group 1, the English awards system, 36 subjects were placed in group 2, the Danish awards system. Groups 3 and 4 served as control groups.

Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale was administered as a pre-test to groups 1,2 and 3. All groups received the Piers-Harris Scale as a post-test. The 4th group received a post-test only to determine if the pre-test had any effect on self-concept scores.


  • No significant differences between pre-test and post-test scores in the four groups.
  • No significant interactions between age and gender, age and race, and gender and race.
  • No significant difference in subjects self-concept scores between the Danish and English systems of awards.
  • Significant positive change in self-concept scores of the control group.