Group three: Self-Concept
School Experiences and Self-Esteem
By: Gabriela Martinez
Adolescent Psychology 2307
What is Self-esteem? Self-esteem is a way of viewing your self worth. It is a
personʼs own measurement of their potential and values. There are people who have different levels of self-esteem. There are those who have conﬁdence, high self-esteem, and there are those who are not so conﬁdent in themselves, low self-esteem, there are also people who have Overly high self-esteem and extremely low self-esteem. The question is, where is it that adolescence ﬁnd this sense of self? Does it come from the parents inﬂuence at home, or the mediaʼs inﬂuence on T.V., are you born with a certain amount of self-esteem already?
In his social psychological concept “The Looking Glass Self”, Charles H. Cooley
stated that we as humans, perceive ourselves on how we think others perceive us. If you feel that your peers think negatively of you, well than your perception of yourself will be a negative one which will ultimately lower a persons self-esteem, and if you feel perceived positively than that self-esteem will be high. I think the biggest factor, when it comes to an adolescence self-esteem, is the school system. Children are in school for about 40 hours a week, parents have little idea of what goes on while their children are away at school, and the way these adolescence at school view each other has to play a big role in self-conﬁdence.
Some research suggests the development in self-esteem comes from the
temperament of the child. This suggests that self-esteem could be an inherited trait because temperament is usually inherited by the parents. Other research suggests that the biggest inﬂuence, especially early on, when it comes to an adolescents self-esteem comes from the parents. Children are extremely affected by the way they feel they are viewed by the individuals around them. If parents start early on with positive
reinforcement with their children and encouragement that they can achieve anything they want, this can inﬂuence a higher self-esteem in their children and make them feel more potential in themselves, But what happens when children become students in a classroom setting with other students and a whole new set peers around them? !
When kids ﬁrst enter school, usually their self-esteem is already forming and
hopefully should be high due to parental inﬂuence. It was reported that 89% of kindergarden students had a high self-esteem. Children go into the school system thinking positive about themselves and only seeing themselves succeeding. As the adolescent grade levels move upward the percentage of students with high self-esteem begins to decrease. By the time students hit high school, only 5% of students reported having high self-esteem. Where did this self-esteem go?
As the years go by, students begin to feel the pressures of evaluation. They are
being evaluated by everyone around them for everything. Teachers evaluate students grades and coaches evaluate their athletic performances, and if a student does poorly, that will negatively affect the self-esteem of that individual. The peers around that student are constantly comparing themselves to each other. Who is better than who at what, Who is prettier or cuter, who has better and nicer clothes or other material objects, who is smarter and who is taller. There are so many things that adolescence tend to compare to each other. Everyone wants to be better than the other at everything, and if this is not achieved than self-esteem goes down. I like to compare this to our capitalized system of society in this country today, how we have a lower class, middle class, upper class divided society, Only instead of being divided by money, students are divided by their self-worth. The more things you are good at and better at than others,
the more popularity is gained. If a student begins to...
Cited: • Student Self-Esteem and the School System: Perceptions and Implications, Cynthia
G. Scott, University of Florida; 1996
• The Role of High School Experiences and Inﬂuences in the Development of PsychoSocial Well-being, Rachelle L. Brooks, Ph.D., Northwestern University2 Michelle Van
Noy, Ph.D. candidate, Columbia University, Teacherʼs College Elaine Croft McKenzie,
Ph.D. candidate, Northwestern University
• Self-Esteem, Mayo Clinic Foundation
• Self-Esteem in Children: Strategies for Parents and Educators, Ellie L. Young , PhD,
NCSP, & Laura L. Hoffmann, MEd Brigham Young University;2004
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