Social class and self esteem among adolescents

People with a healthy level of self-esteem: They learn from the past and plan for the future, but live in the present intensely.

Social class and self esteem among adolescents

Selected Bibliography Definition and Background Self-esteem is a widely used concept both in popular language and in psychology. While the construct is most often used to refer to a global sense of self-worth, narrower concepts such as self-confidence or body-esteem are used to imply a sense of self-esteem in more specific domains.

It is also widely assumed that self-esteem functions as a trait, that is, it is stable across time within individuals. Self-esteem is an extremely popular construct within psychology, and has been related to virtually every other psychological concept or domain, including personality e.

Social class and self esteem among adolescents

Self-esteem has been related both to socioeconomic status and to various aspects of health and health-related behavior, as has a related construct, self-efficacy. Research on both constructs as they relate to SES and to health will be reviewed below.

It includes 10 items that are usually scored using a four-point response ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree. The items are face valid, and the scale is short and easy and fast to administer.

The Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory was developed through research to assess attitude toward oneself in general, and in specific contexts: It was originally designed for use with children, drawing on items from scales that were previously used by Carl Rogers.

Respondents state whether a set of 50 generally favorable or Social class and self esteem among adolescents aspects of a person are "like me" or "not like me. It taps both interpersonal efficacy dealing with friends and family and instrumental efficacy finances, safety, productivity and has a total of eight items.

Froman and Owen published a health self-efficacy measure intended for use with high school students. Respondents are asked to indicate their confidence in their ability to perform 43 behaviors, such things as "eating a balanced diet," "maintaining friendships," and "telling the truth.

Indeed, they found virtually no association between social class of parents measured by the Hollingshead Index of Social Position and self-esteem among younger children, a modest association among adolescents, and a moderate association among adults based on their own social class.

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They rely on theories about social comparison processes, reflected self-appraisals, self-perception theory, and psychological centrality to explain the age graded relationship. Because the salience of class in the interpersonal context differs for children and adults, and because the social class of children is ascribed while that of adults is generally considered achieved, Rosenberg and Pearlin argue, the extent to which the sense of inequality inherent in the meaning of social class is mirrored within individuals is not the same for children as it is for adults.

The results of this work in which children filled out the Self-Esteem Inventory and provided ratings of their parents, staff members interviewed mothers, and mothers filled out questionnaires, indicated that "external indicators of prestige [of the parents] such as wealth, amount of education, and job title did not have as overwhelming and as significant an effect on self-esteem as is often assumed" Pervin,P.

Since the work by Rosenberg and Pearlin and Coopersmithothers have explored the relationship of self-esteem to SES, especially among adolescents.

They attribute this to a heightened sense of self-efficacy among those who interact with friends who are of a higher social status than themselves, as it may be the social status of significant others from which adolescents derive their own sense of social status p. There has been considerable research on the relationship between race and self-esteem.

As for social class, in which the expectation is that the social order will be reflected in individual self-assessments, people of color are hypothesized to have lower self-esteem than are white people. In a study of sixteen-year-olds in England, Francis and Jones found that the relationship of SES and self-esteem varied with the measure of self-esteem.

Considerably less attention appears to have been paid to the self-esteem-SES relationship among adults.

In their study of employed men, Gecas and Seff were interested in the role of psychological centrality and compensation in maintaining self-esteem.

Simple bivariate correlations between self-esteem measured by a item semantic differential scale and SES were as follows: There were, however, mediating effects of the centrality of particular contexts to the self.

More specifically, he noted that individual components of SES may influence efficacy through a sense of control and active problem solving associated with higher levels of education and occupation and that sense of control is affected by income through material resources.

In an empirical investigation of the effect of SES on exercise self-efficacy, Clark, Patrick, Grembowski, and Durham found direct effects of age and education on exercise self-efficacy, and indirect effects of age, education, income, and occupation that generally operated through previous exercise experience, satisfaction with amount of walking, depression, and outcome expectations.

Relationship to Health Much of the research about the relationship between self-esteem and health appears to have been done in terms of the influence of self-esteem on health-related behaviors.

Self-efficacy has been related to smoking cessation, pain management, weight control, and adherence to health prevention programs Pervin, At least one study did not find a linear relationship between self-esteem and health behaviors.

Hollar and Snizek found that young adults with high self-esteem and high levels of knowledge about AIDS employed safer practices for non-conventional sexual practices than those with lower self-esteem, but were riskier than those with lower self-esteem for more conventional sexual practices.

Abood and Conway found a relationship between self-esteem and health values, and between self-esteem and general wellness behavior, but not between self-esteem and tobacco or alcohol use.

The relationship between self-esteem and general wellness behavior remained significant even when health values were controlled for. They found a significant relationship between self-esteem and general health behavior for both younger and older adolescents, and that self-esteem accounted for a significant percent of the variance in mental health behavior, social health behavior, and total health behavior.

They conclude that self-esteem has little association with health behavior.Indeed, they found virtually no association between social class of parents (measured by the Hollingshead Index of Social Position) and self-esteem among younger children, a modest association among adolescents, and a moderate association among adults based on their own social class.

Children and adolescents define their self- esteem in the terms such as social, academic, physical, and more factors. In social self-esteem they look to their friends and family to feel accepted and feel confidence in themselves.

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Social Psychology Quarterly, 53, It explains with a theory of psychological centrality why social class has a stronger effect among late adolescents’ self-esteem.

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Social class and self esteem among adolescents

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