Psychology of Infancy and Childhood (DEP 2000), Section 01
Professor Lissette M. Saavedra
April 24, 2001
What is Low self-esteem?
In most cases, children with low self-esteem feel that the important adults and peers in their lives do not accept them, do not care about them very much, and would not go out of their way to ensure their safety and well-being. Negative self-esteem is related to low self-confidence, insecurity, underachievement, anxiety, depression, acting-out behavior, sleep problems and being a loner (Yarnell, 1999). During their early years, young children's self-esteem is based largely on their perceptions of how the important adults in their lives judge them. The extent to which children believe they have the characteristics valued by the important adults and peers in their lives figures greatly in the development of self-esteem. Low Self- Esteem is the underlying cause of most cases involving: fear, anxiety, anger, panic attacks (self-esteem attacks), dependence and lack of assertiveness, depression, eating disorders, domestic violence, teen and gang violence, addictive behaviors, relationship problems, child-abuse, social anxiety disorders, avoiding personality disorders, and dependent personality disorders.
Self-esteem includes the feelings and thoughts that we have about ourselves, how component we feel, and how optimistic we are that we can succeed (Brooks, 1998). What is the impact of Low Self- Esteem on Children?
Once low self-esteem is formed, the fear and anxiety that accompanies it affects everything a person does, says, and thinks. Many who have low self-esteem avoid seeking new jobs, initiating relationships, or learning new skills for fear of rejection or failure. Many avoid social setting and refrain from sharing their opinions for the same reasons. Some isolate, become people pleasers, and remain passive. Others get aggressive and cause havoc in...