URC

Self-esteem in Females throughout Childhood and Adolescence

Jenni L. Strange, Nicole L. Neuenschwander, and Abby L. Dauer

Huntington College


Abstract

The goal of this study was to explore the relationship between age and self-esteem in female children and adolescents. Females in grades 2-12 in the Camden-Frontier School District were examined regarding their self-esteem. The junior high and high school participants completed the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale to assess levels of self-esteem. The elementary school participants completed a version of the same scale that was slightly modified for age. The age related changes in self-esteem were determined using an ANOVA. It was predicted that self-esteem would begin at high levels in early childhood, drop around junior high, and increase again in high school, resulting in a curvilinear relationship.

 

Self-esteem in Females throughout Childhood and Adolescence

 Self-esteem is a widely studied phenomenon that has gained much attention in our culture. Self-esteem as defined by Aronson, Wilson, and Akert (2005) is the extent to which people view themselves as good, competent, and decent. It is a complex concept that has multiple variables, each of which can serve to enhance or hinder an individual’s concept of him/her self. Self-esteem is influenced by many factors. This study is mainly focusing on age and gender. However, in order to acquire a complete picture of self-esteem it is imperative to explore beyond the variables of age and gender.

Age

Research on age and self-esteem has mostly focused on children’s transition into adolescence. The focus on this age range is not surprising considering the transition into adolescence has long been considered an important one. Erik Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development describe the adolescent years as a time of either establishing identity or experiencing role or identity confusion. It would logically follow that this new formation of identity, or lack thereof, would play a significant role in terms of developing self-esteem. The general trend found in the research suggests that the transition into adolescence results in a decline in self-esteem (Burnett, 1996; Cantin & Boivin, 2004; Eccles, Wigfield, Flanagan, Miller, Reuman, & Yee, 1989; Robins, Trzesniewski, Tracy, Gosling, & Potter, 2002; Twenge & Campbell, 2001). More specifically, one longitudinal study conducted in four-waves followed children from sixth to seventh grade measuring them once in the fall and once in the spring of each year. The resulting data indicated that self-esteem was lowest in the fall of the seventh grade year, right after the transition to junior high had been made (Eccles et al., 1989). Another study by Burnett (1996), which also found a decline in self-esteem in adolescence, suggested that the decline may result from the changes in thinking that occur during adolescence that allow the individuals to see themselves less egocentrically and, thus, more accurately. 

However, it has been demonstrated that this general drop in self-esteem during adolescence is not permanent. Twenge and Campbell (2001) found that scores for both males and females began to progressively rise after junior high, although the males’ self-esteem began to increase more in high school whereas the females’ rose more significantly at the college age. Likewise, Frost and McKelvie (2004) found lower levels of self-esteem in high school students when compared to elementary and university students. The lower levels of self-esteem recorded in the high school period of this research supports the idea that there is a decline during adolescence as well as the idea that there is a subsequent increase after adolescence.

Furthermore, in order to address the absence of life-span self-esteem research, Robins et al., (2002) conducted a study that included participants ranging from age 9 to age 90. They found the highest levels of self-esteem in children ages 9 to 12, and, in agreement with the previous research, they found a sharp decline in self-esteem during adolescence. However, unlike some of the former research, their data suggested that the decline that began in adolescence continued through the college years as well. The trend in self-esteem, as they observed it, rose instead during the post-college age, 23- to 29-years-old, and then stabilized in the 30s. The following decades, the 40s up to the 60s, were, like the post-college years, marked by another gradual increase. This increase, however, appeared to reverse once reaching the 60s where self-esteem began an unrelenting downward trend. They observed that the decline was steeper between the 70s and 80s than between the 60s and 70s and that the levels of self-esteem in the 80s were as low as the levels observed in adolescence. Overall, self-esteem appears to be high in early childhood, decrease during adolescence, rise gradually throughout adulthood, and decrease in old age.

Weight and Gender

One variable that is often related to self-esteem is one’s body weight, specifically being overweight. A plethora of literature is available on body weight and obesity, especially considering the attention it has been given in recent years. In modern times, “attention has especially focused on how having a body weight that deviates from normative proscriptions may affect the self, especially the way in which people evaluate themselves” (Miller & Downey, 1999, p. 68).

Because self-esteem is partly a reflection of others’ appraisals and others tend to view the obese negatively, overweight people may consequently devalue themselves (Miller & Downey, 1999). Likewise, obese people may devalue themselves because “they fall short of internalized social standards for acceptable body weight” (p. 69). A truly obese person is more likely to be devalued by society and “even if the person does not attribute this devaluation to weight, he or she may be aware of the devaluation and consequently suffer low self-esteem” (p. 70). In essence, obese people have a higher tendency to dislike themselves for being above a culturally accepted weight. Physical appearance is the most visible aspect of the self, and in modern Western society being overweight labels the individual with a societal identity that is not highly valued by others (Miller & Downey, 1999). These negative effects on the self-esteem of an individual are especially prevalent in females. Moreover, children and adolescents, middle class and upper class, and White Americans also feel the negative effects of self-esteem more than others (Gusella, Clark, & Van Roosmalen, 2004; Kjaerbye-Thygesen, Munk, Ottesen, & Kruger 2004; Kostanski, 2004; Kostanski & Gullone, 2004). The rationale for these differences is that “there are gender, age, socioeconomic status, and ethnic differences in standards for thinness, cultural value placed on being thin, and the prevalence or normalcy of obesity within these groups (Miller & Downey, 1999, p. 71).

Gender is the variable that is most commonly assumed to predict how weight affects self-esteem. Females have been examined extensively in relation to weight and body dissatisfaction throughout history and especially in recent years. Boys have been increasingly shown to have significantly higher self-esteem than girls (Davies & Brember, 1999). Persistently, females show a significant increase in body dissatisfaction, reflecting a predominant desire to be thinner (Al-Sendi, Bahrain, & Musaiger, 2004; Gusella et al., 2004; Kjaerbye-Thygesen et al., 2004; Kostanski, 2004; Kostanski & Gullone, 2004; Miller & Downey, 1999). These women and girls are also likely to perceive themselves as obese or overweight and express dissatisfaction with their body even though they are not technically obese (Miller & Downey, 1999). This perceived obesity has been shown to have a stronger relationship in individuals with low self-esteem than those who are actually obese and overweight.

Females’ beliefs that they are too heavy begin at an early age; as early as age 5, girls are affected by how others perceive them (Kjaerbye-Thygesen et al., 2004; Miller & Downey, 1999; Smith, 2001). It has also been suggested that severe life events occurring in childhood or adolescence may increase the risk for a female to consider herself too heavy (Kjaerbye-Thygesen et al., 2004). Likewise, beginning to drink at an early age as well as experiencing first intercourse at an early age both increase the “risk of subsequent body dissatisfaction” (p. 283). Also, according to Kjaerbye-Thygesen et al. (2004), this increase in body dissatisfaction may be explained by an early start of dangerous behaviors being attributed to a personality with a higher susceptibility to low self-esteem. For example, “severe childhood life events, high vulnerability, and low self-esteem are associated with the development of eating disorders” (p. 283). Likewise, “women are far more likely than men to seek psychotherapy and other interventions to control their body weight or to cope with adverse psychological effects of being heavier than they think they should be” (Miller & Downey, 1999, p. 71). Although research indicates that females have the most body dissatisfaction, males have also been observed as having some body dissatisfaction. Kostanski (2004) suggested that being overweight was considered unacceptable for males as well as females. However, for boys, dissatisfaction with being too thin was also apparent. Clearly, perceived obesity or true obesity seems to be a factor in low self-esteem for many females and some males.

Markedly, self-esteem declines and body dissatisfaction rises from childhood to adolescence (Al-Sendi et al., 2004; Kostanski, 2004; Kostanski et al., 2004; Miller & Downey, 1999). “Although dissatisfaction was present in both adolescents and children, it increased significantly with age for males and females” (Kostanski, 2004, p. 5). One suggestion for this difference is that people tend to gain weight as they age. Miller and Downey (1999) suggest that being overweight is:

. . . more deviant and therefore more stigmatizing for children and adolescents than for adults. Furthermore, appearances may be increasingly important during adolescence and early adulthood, when people are preoccupied with dating and mating. Therefore, young people, especially adolescents, should show a stronger relation between being overweight and self-esteem than adults. (p. 71)

According to Direnfeld (2003), weight and body image play an important role in determining a child’s sense of self and weight problems are often linked with issues of low self-esteem. Likewise, positive correlations between self-esteem and attainment, which is defined as the successful functioning of the individual, have been reported. It is also recognized that self-esteem can be affected by how an individual is viewed by peers, teachers, and parents (Davies & Brember, 1999). Children with healthy self-esteem generally feel good about themselves and tend to be kind and considerate (Direnfeld, 2003). These children also have an understanding of how their behavior affects others and have a view of themselves that says that they are at least equivalent to their peers or are content with any difference. Self-esteem is relational. With self-esteem, the child not only feels good about himself or herself independently but also in relation to others.

Sexuality

Research on the relationship between sexuality and self-esteem has produced mixed results when comparing males and females. A longitudinal study by Spencer, Zimet, Aalsma, and Orr (2002) found that males who have high self-esteem are more than twice as likely to become sexually active earlier than their peers. Conversely, they found that females who have low self-esteem are three times more likely to become sexually active earlier than their peers. The difference, they theorize, may come from the contrasting views regarding sexuality held by the different genders. Females may view sex as a way to achieve maturity, intimacy, acceptance, or feelings of self-worth. Subsequently, sex becomes a vehicle for girls with low self-esteem to attempt to achieve better feelings about themselves. Males, on the other hand, may be inclined to see sex as an accomplishment, a “badge of honor that is celebrated within the peer culture” (p. 583). This attitude could serve as a catalyst for those boys who are already confident in themselves to seek out sex. 

However, these results are not undisputed. A study by Longmore, Manning, Giordano, and Rudolph (2004) found that boys who exhibited levels of high self-esteem were more likely to initiate intercourse at later ages. Furthermore, some studies have suggested that, although self-esteem may be a factor in the age of onset of sex, it does not always appear to be the primary one. Longmore et al. (2004) suggested that depressive symptoms have a greater impact than self-esteem when predicting initiation of sexual behavior in adolescents. Also, Slicker, Patton, and Fuller (2004) found self-esteem to have only an indirect effect on adolescents engaging in early sexual behavior. 

School, Peers, & Parents

School, peers, and parents have been found to influence and affect a child’s self-esteem. Gådin and Hammarström (2003) looked at whether or not the changes in one’s psychosocial school environment would influence one’s health development. Psychosocial school environment involves the social and the psychological aspects of one’s environment. The study was done over a 3-year period. The results showed that girls in the older group conveyed negative health development with a decreased sense of worth along with increased somatic and psychological symptoms. They came to the conclusion that “the negative development in pupils’ health and self-worth could partly be explained by the more unfavorable psychosocial environment that prevails at school at the senior level” (p. 169).

A study carried out by King, Vidourek, Davis, and McClellan (2002) investigated how self-esteem was affected through school connectedness among fourth graders. This was completed through a four-dimension mentoring program. The results of this study concluded that school based programs, such as mentoring, can improve a student’s self-esteem through focusing on different aspects in a child’s life such as academic success and school, peer, and family connectedness. Significant increases were found in each area of focus.

A study examining how peers affect each others’ self-worth discovered that adolescents with a low sense of worth reported higher levels of jealousy among friendships (Parker, Low, Walker, & Gamm, 2005). Parents have also been found to affect their children’s self-esteem. Scheffler and Naus (1999) observed that as the amount of affirmation from the fathers towards their daughters increased, the daughters’ self-esteem subsequently increased.  Another study exploring father-daughter relationships found the more overprotective a father was of his daughter, the lower her self-esteem (Mori, 1999).

Laible, Carlo, and Roesch (2004) examined the direct and indirect effects that peers and parents have on self-esteem. They believed that there were mediating factors, such as empathy, prosocial behavior, and aggression that would have an effect on self-esteem. One mediating factor that produced significant results was prosocial behavior, which consists of actions done with the purpose of benefiting others. Specifically, they found that “parent attachment and prosocial behavior were significantly and positively related to self-esteem”(p. 710).

Socioeconomic Status

Several studies have reported significant findings regarding the effects of socioeconomic status (SES) on self-esteem. Generally, research suggests that individuals with a higher SES have higher levels of self-esteem than individuals who have a lower SES (Baharudin & Luster, 1998; Hare, 1977; Robins et al., 2002). Some studies have focused on the impact of SES for all age groups, such as Robins et al. (2002).  Others have focused more specifically on the consequences for children who live in families with a low SES. Christoffersen (1994) found that parental unemployment contributes to the depletion of children’s self-esteem. Whitbeck, Simons, Conger, Lorenz, Huck, and Elder (1991) suggest that low SES has an indirect effect on the self-esteem of adolescents because it causes a decrease in the support and involvement of the parents. They do not think that it is necessarily the family’s economic condition in and of itself that affects a child’s self-esteem, but that it is how the economic status affects the parental-child relationship that makes the difference.

Similarly, a study on the relationship between mothers and their 6- to 8-year-old children found that mothers who had higher levels of education and higher levels of family income provided higher quality home environments for their children. Furthermore, these higher quality environments were found to be related to their children’s levels of achievement (Baharudin & Luster, 1998). In addition, Lent and Figueira-McDonough (2002) found that as long as children with a low SES feel that they have competence in one major area, either home or school, they are able to maintain a high sense of global self-worth. It is when the low SES children have low levels of competence in both major areas that they have significantly lower ratings of global self-worth. Whether direct or indirect, SES does appear to have some impact upon self-esteem.

Media/Pop Culture

Multiple studies have determined that media has an impact on the self-esteem of children and adolescents. Specifically, it has been observed that girls who view commercials of appearance report higher body dissatisfaction than when viewing nonappearance commercials (Hargreaves & Tiggemann, 2003). Johansson, Lundh, & Andersson (2005) focused on viewing commercials of appearance. They found that adolescent girls had increased body dissatisfaction while boys, on the contrary, were not affected by the commercials.  Commercials of appearance are those in which portray the ideal female image and products to improve appearance. Commercials of nonappearance are those that promote a product such as food. It was found in a study that body satisfied women responded positively to thin ideal images.

Another image that is popular in the media and pop culture is Barbie. Kuther and McDonald (2004) researched children’s and adolescents’ experiences with, and views of Barbie. Through this research they found adolescent boys and girls believe Barbie has an effect on girls’ self-concept. They also believed Barbie to be a poor role model. The females in the research study perceived the Barbie doll toys as “a dangerous influence on girls’ perceptions of beauty, body image, and self-concept” (p.48). With this research in mind, one can see that media can have an influence on the self-esteem of an adolescent.  

Hypothesis

According to the literature it is clear that there are many factors that contribute to one’s self-esteem. Specifically, the relationships between self-esteem and age, weight, gender, sexuality, school, peers, parents, socioeconomic status, and media have been considered. One subset of the research that is incomplete is the dimension of age. In fact, Demo (1992) suggests that the research is “lopsided, with 12- and 13-year-olds forming the floor and 18- to 22-year-olds representing the ceiling of our convenience samples” (p. 323). Although more research has been conducted since Demo’s study, there is still unevenness amongst the age groups. Young children and older adults are often left out. Furthermore, the research suggests that self-esteem drops in adolescence, but it is not clear as to the trend that self-esteem has prior to that age. In order to address some of these issues, this study examined self-esteem from childhood through adolescence. Also, because the evidence strongly suggests that self-esteem is not often as great an issue for males, this specific study focused mainly on females. For these reasons, the proposed hypothesis was that self-esteem in females will begin at high levels in early childhood, drop around junior high, and increase again in high school, resulting in a curvilinear relationship.

 

Methods

Participants

A total of 156 female students from the Camden-Frontier School District were used as participants in this study.  Informed Consent forms were distributed to the participant’s parents prior to the study. Participants consisted of grades 2-12.

Measures

Self-esteem is defined as “a positive or negative orientation toward oneself; an overall evaluation of one’s worth or value” (University of Maryland, 2004).  It was measured in this study using Rosenberg’s (1965) Self-Esteem Scale (RSE). The RSE consists of ten questions that address one’s feelings about him/herself.  The Rosenberg scale takes approximately ten minutes to complete. The ten-question Likert scale asks the participant to respond with one of four choices, ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree.” Scores range from 10 to 40. A high score on this survey indicates that the participant feels that he or she is a person of value and is worthy of self-respect. A low score on this scale indicates the feelings of self-rejection, self-dissatisfaction, and self-contempt (James, n.d.). Rosenberg did not indicate discrete cutoff points to distinguish high and low self-esteem. The researchers considered scores of 15-25 to be normal. 

This scale is known to generally have high reliability and test-retest correlation in the range of .82 to.88, and Cronbach’s alpha for various samples are in the range of .77 to .88 (Owens, 2001;University of Maryland, 2004; Wells & Marwell, 1976). Rosenberg originally developed this scale to measure self-esteem in adolescents. The middle school and high school participants used the original measure while the elementary participants completed the “elementary school version.” Some words from the original scale were substituted with age appropriate words. It was also necessary for some wording to be supplemented in order for the young children to comprehend the statements. For example, instead of “I feel that I’m a person of worth, at least on an equal plane with others,” statements like “I feel as important as others” were proposed for the second and fifth grade participants (See Appendices A and B to compare measures).

Procedure

Our procedures for the elementary school differed from that of the procedure for the junior high and the high school. Elementary school students were given an informed consent form to have their guardians return prior to the study. Likewise, the middle school and high school participants were also given informed consent forms to be completed by their guardians. For this research, elementary school students received the “elementary school version” of the RSE. All students remained in their assigned seats. Boys and girls were both asked to complete the RSE. The measure was read to the elementary student participants. Additionally, they were asked to write a ‘B’ or a ‘G’ at the top of the paper in order to indicate their gender. During data analysis, only the girls’ results were analyzed in regards to the initial hypothesis.

The junior high and high school students received the original version of the RSE. Again, males and females both completed the measure and indicated their gender. In all classrooms the researchers followed a script when distributing the measure and had a script for anticipated questions (See Appendices D and E for scripts). Questions that came up, which were not anticipated, were written down, along with the answer that was given, so that the same answer would be given should the question be asked again. Any students that did not return the informed consent form were asked to remain in their seats. Furthermore, they were instructed that they may read or do homework quietly for the short duration of the survey.

Data Analysis

To measure the variance between groups an ANOVA was used. In addition, the variability within each age category was evaluated using each group’s standard deviations.

 

Results

The number of surveys completed was 156 which ranged from second to twelfth grade. Of these 156 surveys, 14 were from Grade 2, 18 from Grade 3, 6 from Grade 4, 25 from Grade 5, 10 from Grade 6, nine from Grade 7, 14 from Grade 8, 17 from Grade 9, 20 from Grade 10, nine from Grade 11, and 11 from Grade 12. To obtain the results from the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale an ANOVA was used. The hypothesis that self-esteem in females would change between age groups was not supported. The results showed no significant difference between the grade levels, F (10, 155) = 1.551; p = .127 (see Figure 1).


Figure 1

A further analysis examining gender and esteem scores was conducted. All male scores were analyzed by grade level. They too showed no significant difference, F (10, 142); = .749; p = .677(see Figure 2). Additionally, male and female scores for each grade were combined to find an average score. These average scores for each grade level were compared revealing no significant difference, F (10, 299) = .500; p = .889 (see Figure 3). The male and female scores were compared also indicating no significant difference between the two genders, F (1, 299) = .507; p = .477 (see Figure 4).


Figure 2


Figure 3


Figure 4

 
Discussion

The primary goal of this study was to examine changes in female’s self-esteem throughout childhood and adolescence. It was predicted that self-esteem would follow a curvilinear pattern: beginning high in early childhood, dropping in early adolescence, and rising again in later adolescence. Results of this study produced no significant differences in self-esteem between the age groups. The results were contrary to the majority of the findings discussed previously. 

Although it was hypothesized that there would be significant changes in levels of self-esteem between the grades, the average scores for all grades fell within the normal levels of self-esteem. This finding was consistent when examining female’s scores, males’ scores, and the combined scores of males and females within each grade. Within each individual grade there was some fluctuation between scores, however most scores varied within the normal range. In addition, our further research involving the scores of the male participants produced another finding that was contradictory to the previously examined research (Davies & Brember, 1999). Although the difference was not statistically significant, males, on average, reported lower self-esteem than females.

There were a number of variables that could have impacted the results producing findings inconsistent with the previous research on self-esteem. One explanation for the results is based upon the structure of the school that was studied. The Camden-Frontier School District consists of one building, which contains all grade levels from kindergarten through 12th grade. Due to the unique set up of this school system, students never transfer to a new building. This results in students spending their entire educational career in the same building with the same teachers, staff, and students. Many previous studies focused on schools where transition occurs between elementary school and middle school and again between middle school and high school. It is postulated that this absence of experiencing entering a new school with new students may, in part, account for the fairly homogenous esteem scores across the grade levels.

Furthermore, the sizes of the grade levels and classes in the Camden-Frontier School District are also important to consider. Each grade level consists of between 40 and 65 students, and each class consists of between 18 and 30 students. The small number of students in each grade, along with the small overall population of the school, may result in homogeneity among the students. Most students are acquainted with the students near their age as well as the other student’s families. It is often quoted in the community that “everybody knows everybody and his/her business.” This familiarity may result in a level of comfort that does not bring about as much competition or concern about image as what may occur in larger schools. 

There were a number of variables that could have potentially influenced the validity of the study. Because of a limited time frame, students could only be surveyed between the hours of eight and three. Furthermore, it was impossible to survey all students at the same time due to a limited number of survey administrators. Therefore, time of day could have had an influence on the demeanor of the students, causing possible misrepresentations of their true self-esteem.  Another variable of possible influence to the research was the irregularity of the school weeks the surveys were administered. The first day of administering surveys was a Wednesday followed by a half day on Thursday due to Parent-Teacher conferences and no school on Friday. The second and final day of surveying was the following Monday of which preceded their spring break and Easter. Therefore, the abnormal week structure may have influenced the self-reports of esteem.

Moreover, the small size of each class may have resulted in a lack of difference in scores. Ideally, a larger number of students in each grade would have resulted in a more diverse sample. Also, the sample size from each grade fluctuated from as low as 11 to as high as 63. The low return rate of consent forms for some grades resulted in fewer students being surveyed in those classes. Therefore, the statistics for some grades may be more accurate than others.

Perhaps the most influential limitation of this study is that the participants surveyed were children. First of all, even though the measures were directed towards their age groups, some participants were still unable to completely understand the statements to which they were responding. Although some students asked for clarification, it is impossible to know if all the students truly comprehended the statements. Furthermore, some students may not have acknowledged the importance of the survey and therefore, not taken it seriously. Finally, children are generally eager to please as well as be helpful. This eagerness may have influenced them to respond with more desirable answers. In light of all these things, the possible limitations are to be expected.

Although limitations were encountered and the research did not support the hypothesis, the findings of this study are nevertheless important to the body of self-esteem research. The possibility of a discrepancy between small non-transition and larger transition schools could be an area of focus for further research in self-esteem.  A comparison of the two types of schools would be beneficial in determining whether or not the difference in educational settings results in a disparity in self-esteem scores. Further study on self-esteem in young children would also be desirable since the body of research is lacking in this area.

 
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Slicker, E. K., Patton, M., & Fuller, D. K. (2004). Parenting dimensions and adolescent sexual initiation: Using self-esteem, academic aspiration, and substance use as mediators. Journal of Youth Studies, 7(3), 295-314.

Smith, S. (2001). Starving self-esteem. Psychology Today, 34(3), 30.

Spencer, J. M., Zimet, G. D., Aalsma, M. C., & Orr, D. P. (2002). Self-esteem as a predictor of initiation of coitus in early adolescents. Pediatrics, 109(4), 581-584.

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University of Maryland. (2004). The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. Retrieved January 30, 2005 from University of Maryland, Department of Sociology: Department of Sociology web site: http://www.bsos.umd.edu/socy.grad/socpsy_rosenberg.html

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Appendix A

Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale

Instructions: Below are a series of statements dealing with your general feelings about yourself. Circle the response that indicates the extent to which you agree with each of the following statements, using the scale below. There are no right or wrong answers to the test:

 

 

 

Strongly
Agree

Agree

Disagree

Strongly
Disagree

1.

I feel that I'm a person of worth, at least on an equal plane with others.

SA

A

D

SD

2.

I feel that I have a number of good qualities.

SA

A

D

SD

3.

All in all, I am inclined to feel that I am a failure.

SA

A

D

SD

4.

I am able to do things as well as most other people.

SA

A

D

SD

5.

I feel I do not have much to be proud of.

SA

A

D

SD

6.

I take a positive attitude toward myself.

SA

A

D

SD

7.

On the whole, I am satisfied with myself.

SA

A

D

SD

8.

I wish I could have more respect for myself.

SA

A

D

SD

9.

I certainly feel useless at times.

SA

A

D

SD

10.

At times I think I am no good at all.

SA

A

D

SD

 

 

Appendix B

Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale: Elementary Version

Please Listen for Directions!

Remember: there are no right or wrong answers!

 

 

Oh Yeah!

Yeah, Sometimes.

No,
Not Really.

No Way!

1.

I feel I am as important as others.

1

2

3

4

2.

I feel there are a lot of good things about me.

1

2

3

4

3.

I tend to feel that I am a loser.

1

2

3

4

4.

I feel I can do things as well as most other people.

1

2

3

4

5.

I feel I don’t have much to be proud of.

1

2

3

4

6.

I have good feelings about myself.

1

2

3

4

7.

Most of the time I am happy with myself.

1

2

3

4

8.

I wish I could appreciate myself more.

1

2

3

4

9.

I feel useless sometimes.

1

2

3

4

10.

At times I think I am no good at all.

1

2

3

4

 


Appendix C

Informed Consent

STATEMENT OF INFORMED CONSENT                         

This research project will require participants to complete a ten question self-report, which will be completed during the time of their guidance session in the classroom.  This questionnaire asks the respondent to circle the number that indicates the degree to which he/she agrees with each of the ten statements.  The time that is required to complete this is ten minutes. 

We are interested in determining characteristics of childhood perceptions.  Your child’s participation will help in this matter.  There are no known risks or ill effects from participating in this study.

You have the right to refuse your child’s participation in this study or to withdraw your consent at any time during the study without prejudice from the investigator.  If you would like to know more information about the study prior to signing the consent form, you may contact Jennifer Strange at jenniferstrange@huntington.edu.  Additionally, you are entitled to be informed as to the results of this study upon its completion and may contact us after May 1, 2005 via the previously provided email address or by the address below.

Inasmuch as the names of the participants are not relevant to the analysis of the data, the manner in which the data is both gathered and stored will ensure the anonymity of each participant. Your child’s name will NOT be used anywhere in the data collection or analysis.

Please be assured that all information will be processed in keeping with professional standards.  Thank you in advance for your time and cooperation. 

************************************************************************

I have read the above statement of informed consent and I agree that my child may participate in this study.  My questions about procedures and/or purpose of the experiment have been satisfactorily answered.  I understand that I will receive a copy of this consent form to keep for future reference should I desire it. 

 

_____________________________
Signature

Abby Dauer, Nicole Neuenschwander, Jenni Strange
Huntington College
2303 College Ave.
Huntington, IN  46750


Appendix D

Junior High & High School Script

 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR TAKING THIS SURVEY

Hi, our names are _____________. We want to thank you for helping us out today in our research. We will be handing out a survey with ten statements.

There are a series of statements dealing with your general feelings about yourself.

Circle the response that indicates the extent to which you agree with each of the statements, using the scale. There are no right or wrong answers to the test.

If you are a male, please write an M at the top of your paper. If you are a female, please put an F at the top of your paper.

When you are done with the survey, please turn your paper over and we will pick it up. Thank you.

 

CLOSING REMARKS

            Thank you for participating in our research study. Bye.

 


Appendix E

Elementary School Script

 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR TAKING THIS SURVEY

Hi, our names are _____________. We want to thank you for helping us out today in our research. We will be handing out a survey with ten statements. For each statement you will circle a number depending on whether or not you have that thought. 1 is Oh, yeah, 2 is yeah, sometimes, 3 is no, not really, and 4 is no way. If you have any questions, feel free to raise your hand and ask. If your parents did not return the permission slip, you may sit quietly and study or read at your desk. 

If you are a boy, please put a B at the top of your paper. If you are a girl, put a G at the top of your page.

When you are done with your survey, turn the paper over and we will pick it up.

There are no right or wrong answers.

 

RESPONSES TO ANTICIPATED QUESTIONS

1.      What does appreciate mean?

a.       To be thankful for

b.      Example…you are thankful that you are you!

2.      What do you mean by proud of?

a.       Pleased with who you are and what you have done

 

CLOSING REMARKS

Thank you very much for helping us with our research study.

 

 

 

 


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