BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Adolescence is the developmental period of transition between childhood and adulthood; it involves biological, cognitive and socio emotional changes. These changes transform the young person’s vision of the self into more complex, well- organized and consistent picture. Self-conception of adolescents changes in structure As well as content. Structurally it becomes more differentiated and organized.
WHAT IS SELF-CONCEPT?
Self-concept refers to self-evaluation or self perception, and it represents the sum of an individual’s beliefs about his or her own attributes. Self concept reflects how an adolescent evaluates himself or herself in domains (or areas) in which he or she considers success important. An adolescent can have a positive self-concept in some domains and a negative self-concept in others. Research also suggests that each individual has a global (or overall) self concept that reflects how the individual evaluates his or her self-worth as a whole.
An adolescent can make targeted self-evaluations in a number of different domains. Researchers have identified the following eight domains that make up an adolescent’s self-concept:
• Scholastic competence
• Athletic competence
• Physical appearance
• Peer acceptance
• Close friendships
• Romantic relationships
• Job competence
Negative self-concept in adolescence has been associated with depression, drug use, and eating disorders in girls. Both male and female adolescents struggle with negative selfconcepts, but female adolescents tend to worry more about physical appearance than do males.
SIGNS OF NEGATIVE SELF-CONCEPT IN ADOLESCENTS
Several signs may indicate that an adolescent has a negative self-concept. These may include one or more of the following:
• Doing poorly in school;
• Having few friends;
• Putting down oneself and others;
• Rejecting compliments;
• Teasing others;
• Showing excessive amounts of anger;
• Being excessively jealous;
• Appearing conceited; or
• Hesitating to try new things.
For adolescents, having a high academic self-concept is associated with positive academic performance and having a high physical self-concept is related to increased physical activity are some examples. Positive overall self-concepts have been linked to various markers of positive development, including positive peer relationships and overall happiness. There are two seemingly conflicting views regarding the role of gender on the self-concept of adolescents. Some researchers suggest that young girls show lower self-esteem compared to boys (Oliva, 1999). According to them these differential patterns of self-appraisal have their origins partly in parental gender linked beliefs and partly in cultural stereotypes regarding their capabilities. Some other empirical studies have found no gender difference in the self-esteem of the adolescents. In recent years Indian family life has undergone so many transformations, there have been remarkable attitudinal changes regarding women. The women are no longer seen to have assumed the role of secondary earners in their families; rather they have risen to the height of primary earners or atleast co- earners. In many fields, women prove their intelligence, efficiency and expertise as their male counterparts. Young adolescent girls are very much aware of the prevailing cultural standard of attractiveness. When they meet these standards, their self-esteem is enhanced. If they are not able to meet the standards, their self- esteem is harmed. They face fermidable challenges in meeting the punishing cultural standards of attractiveness. During early adolescence, sometimes there is a decline in the self-esteem of girls for negative body image. Evidence suggests that men derive self-esteem more from individuating themselves from others (i.e. feeling unique in...