Factors Affecting Adolescent Selfesteem
Adolescence is a time in a person’s development when many changes are occurring. Transitions in an adolescent’s development that take place include physical maturation, shifting educational environments, an increased association with peers, and developed cognitive abilities (Barber & Chadwick, 1992). Barber and Chadwick (1992) report that these developments allow the adolescent to consider their value and position in society. They further report that an adolescent’s self-esteem “can be a useful marker of the success with which he or she is proceeding through this important period” (Barber & Chadwick, 1992, p.128).
Block and Robins (1993) define self-esteem as:
The extent to which one perceives oneself as relatively close to being the person one wants to be and /or as relatively distant from being the kind of person one does not want to be, with respect to person-qualities one positively and negatively values. (p. 911)
Block and Robins (1993) discuss self-esteem as requiring two kinds of assessment.
The first is an evaluation between how an individual perceives themselves and the self they desire to be. The second involves the specific elements and criteria an individual uses in relation to their self-evaluation (Block & Robins, 1993). Verkuyten (1990) discusses how individuals differ in their view of perceived self-concept. Certain characteristics of the self-concept are not equally important regarding self-esteem. Verkuyten (1990) reports that most research that has studied self –esteem uses a long list of characteristic features and the person is to rate his/her degree of agreement or disagreement; the relevance to the individual is disregarded. William James (as cited in Block & Robins, 1993) conceives self-esteem as the correlation of a person’s successes with their desired goals and ambitions.
Rosenburg (as cited in Block & Robins, 1993), along the same comprehension as James, asserts that an individual’s self-esteem is perceived in terms of the personal qualities in which the person associates to the aspired characteristics of the self as well as the degree of fondness of the perceived self. In other words, an individual’s self esteem is based on characteristics that they view to be important to their self-concept. Verkuyten (1990) further explains this idea by discussing how one person may view himself/herself as being nonathletic, but whether this has negative effects on his/her self-esteem depends upon whether he/she thinks it is important to be good at sports.
In their research, Block and Robins (1993) found that self-esteem tends to change in some ways yet is also consistent in the transition from early adolescence to early adulthood and stays continuous in other ways throughout the life span. This notion implies importance for the understanding of adolescent self-esteem, especially if an individual presents a negative self-concept. To understand the ramifications of...