ROLES OF SEX AND PARENT’S LEVEL OF EDUCATION ON SELF-ESTEEM

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CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION

1.1. Background of the Study

The history of self-esteem as a concept began with known theorists in psychology. William James and Mead (1890) were among the first ones. They postulated that self- esteem was equivalent to success of a person divided by his or her pretensions. One’s self-esteem would be academic success divided by how well one thinks he/she ought to be doing. To increase the sum total of one’s self-esteem, one needs to boost successes or diminish expectations for achievements. This continues to influence the understanding of self-esteem (Wickline, 2003)

The self psychologist, Rogers (1954) was concerned with the general nature of subjective experience of the individual’s acceptance of his/her experience. Bednar and Peterson (1999), believed that each person constructs his/her unique view of reality through the creative self.

Gordon Allport (1961) proposed that the growth of the awareness of self proceeds along development learning lines. He identified 7 different aspects of self- hood. Self- esteem is the third development stage of the proprium. It is the feeling of pride that results when  the child accomplishes things on the child’s success in mastering tasks

In 1979, Rosenberg conducted a study of the adolescent self-esteem and came up with three classifications of the self- esteem: the extant self, the desired self, and presenting self. Rosenberg cautions that no one knows the real self, but each individual creates and interprets images of the self. He differentiated between the self confidence and self-

esteem. To him self-esteem is more of affective sense of efficacy. As such, self confidence may contribute to self- esteem but the two are synonymous.

Coopersmith (1967) cited evidence supporting the importance of self-esteem. He concluded that people with feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness see themselves as inferior and unable to generate inner resources to improve their situation. Feeling of inferiority may result if it does not meet personal aspirations. In his antecedents of self,  he suggested four factors that contribute to the development of self- esteem. These are: the values that the child perceives to have towards the self, the child’s experience with success and his individual definitions of success or failure as well as the child’s style of dealing with negative feedback or criticism.

The humanistic movement of 1950 and the self movement postulated by Carl Rogers and others in 1960’s and 1970’s brought in the self enhancement view of academics, seeing students’ self-esteem as the primary cause of academic achievement. Wickline, (2003) Bednar and Peterson (1999) postulated that each person constructs his/her unique view of reality. They further linked low self esteem with drug abuse, anti-social behavior, teenage pregnancies and poor grades.
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ROLES OF SEX AND PARENT’S LEVEL OF EDUCATION ON SELF-ESTEEM