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Factors that Affect the Development of Self-Esteem

1992 words (8 pages) Essay in Psychology

18/05/20 Psychology Reference this

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Discuss factors which may affect the development of self-esteem

Self-esteem is your opinion of yourself and how you view yourself. When you have goodself-esteem, it means you hold yourself in high regard, whereas having low self-esteem means you may not have a good opinion about yourself and that can be a cause of depression and many other problems. Relating to the case study about Maddie she would now start to have low self-esteem due to the fact that her identity is changing as she is losing her hair which is not something very nice to go through this can cause her to start isolating herself from friends and may decide she no longer wants to go to school as people may begin to laugh at her and bully her this could knock down her confidence in all areas of her life.

One of the factors that may affect the development of self-esteem is called the growth promoting climate. This is what the individual goes through in order to find themselves and their self-esteem. The individual going through this stage tend to develop their self-esteem. In this situation it could go two different waysone of which is negative and the individual is going to think only negative thoughts about themselves. Another way it could go is the positive and the individual would actually have positive thoughts about themselves.Another factor which may affect the development of the individual’s self-esteem is the ‘looking through the glass self’ this is when the development of your self-esteem is influenced by the opinions of the other people. It is separated into stages. The first stage is that a person will imagine how they are perceived and viewed by others. The second stage is when a person imagines how they are judged by others and lastly the final stage where the experiencing of a type of feeling or reaction to the stages in one and two. This could affect the development of our self-esteem because we might think that it is important to look a certain way even though we might not necessary like to look that way. With Maddie being the youngest in her family she might have the pressure to look up to her siblings’ standards. In the case study it states that “her older sister is in university studying medicine however, she struggles with academic writing and is more at home doing practical artistic subjects and wants to do well in her exams so she doesn’t let her mum down’. This suggest that she might have peer pressure to do well in her GCSE’S so she can also go to university and study something in the scientific filed her family may might not see art as a positive thing.

Additionally, there is another factor which could affect the development of the self-esteem is the ego-identity, this is when the individual develops something called ego. This is a quiet useful factor as it allows the individual to experience a taste of them and actually develop their personal opinion about themselves. You can recognise someone with too much ego, they would usually argue on protecting their point and they would tend to argue until the other person gives up accepting their point of view.

One of the last factors which may affect the development of the self-esteem is the social identity; this is when the individual has a certain level of socialisation. For example, if the individual is always socialising they would have a higher self-esteem than those who barely communicate at all. Someone who communicates a lot will have a higher self-esteem because they will have the idea that people talk to them because they are interesting which is going to increase the level of their self-esteem. All of these factors would contribute to construction of the self-esteem.

Compare two theories of self-esteem which contribute to our understanding of self-concept

In this assignment I will talk about two different theorists which are Maslow and Rogers and also relating it to Maddie.

Maslow was an American psychologist who was known for creating the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. He stated that in order for people to reach their full potential and become everything they are capable of they have to have met the five stages in the pyramid. At the bottom of the pyramid is the physiological needs which are necessary requirements for a human to survive such as air, water, food, clothing and shelter. The next level within the hierarchy is the safety needs, this includes personal security, financial security and health wellbeing and safety against accidents. The third level is love/ belonging need; this is the need for an individual to a part of a group such as family or friendship group. If they are not part of a social group they may feel lonely or isolated as they won’t have anyone to socialise with. This relates to Maddie as she is part of a family group, but she may feel as if she is a let-down in her family if she doesn’t pass her GCSE’s or go to university and study something in the science sector like her sister. If she does not manage to fulfil this need she will not be able to move onto the next level of the hierarchy. The fourth level up is the esteem needs. Maslow believed individuals needed to satisfy two types of esteem; which are esteem from others and their own self-esteem. Esteem from others has an impact on an individual’s self-esteem. Individuals want others to perceive them as being successful, capable and feel recognised for their achievements and abilities. Once an individual gain this esteem from others it is then translated into self-esteem; where an individual sees themselves as being valuable and worthy. If Maddie’s friends accept her the way she is despite the fact that she is losing her hair and they don’t judge her she would be able to satisfy the two types of self-esteem and would feel valuable that she is still the same person despite what is going on in her life. At the top of the hierarchy is the self-actualization need. Self-actualization is a state where people are aware of how they are feeling and why they are feeling that way.  Maslow claimed that the lower level needs in the hierarchy need to be satisfied first before satisfying the higher ones. This is because the lower level needs are more important due to them being relevant in terms of surviving. The needs are arranged in a particular order showing that an individual generally has to have enough food and feel safe before attempting to earn esteem. Maddie could reach this stage if she gets the support from her family.  Maslow theorized that when individuals attempt to satisfy their needs, motivation is weak and easily interrupted. Maslow’s work had little evidence as it was based on his own personal thoughts about motivation towards self-actualization.

An alternative explanation was developed by Rogers (1902-1987 who was a humanistic psychologist who agreed with the main assumptions of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs but also added that for an individual to grow they need to be in an environment that provides them with genuineness, acceptance and empathy. Carl Rogers spoke about the ideal self-versus the real self. The ideal self is the person you would like to be, it could include things such as what we have been taught by our parents, what we admire from others and what we think is in our best interest. The real self on the other hand is the person you actually are, how you think, how you feel and look or act. Maddie might have her academic real self. Rogers believed that humans have one basic motive which is tendency to self-actualize for example to fulfil one’s potential and achieve they have higher self-esteem because they are able to understand their emotions.He believed that all infants have an inborn need for the desire of positive self-regard contingent on conditions. For example, by telling a child well done and giving them encouragement for being involved in the netball team, the child may continue to play netball not because they enjoy it but because they want to feel accepted and to earn positive regard from their parents.Theconditions to earn positive self-regard are known as conditions of worth. In this situation the child can behave in certain way to earn positive regardby attempting to live up to these conditions rather than doing what they actually want. If an individual attempt to please others by becoming what others want them to become rather than who they are and considering their own desires and wants within life they are moving away from ideals of the fully functioning person and therefore are no longer progressing to become self-actualized. For example, Maddie may decide to go and study medicine at university to please her parents but may not necessarily have interest in science so she ends up studying something she has no clue about. As the individual growsintobecoming an adult the focus will still be on gaining the approval of others by always looking for conditions which must be satisfied to gain positive regard. These individuals attempt to make everyone happy other than themselves and often deny theirown weaknesses and faults. However, if positive regard from parents and others is given freely without terms or conditions or contingencies this outcome can be avoided as the child feels accepted and loved exactly how they are no matter what. This is known as unconditional positive regard. When a child experiences unconditional regard they are able to accept themselves for who they are and experience new things without feeling they have to change who they are or their behaviour to fit in. By taking on these characteristics the individual is fully functioning and therefore can begin to become self-actualized and reach their full potential.

Maslow and Rogers theories are similar in that they both talk about trying to help you to take an environment for yourself to become confident within yourself. Both Maslow and Rogers believe that we have the ability to self-actualise which is when you reach your full potential and know how you are feeling. Although, these theories of needs were similar, the theories differed in what they considered to be the role of need. Maslow suggested that esteem needs are an important part of being human however, they are not as important as achieving the need of self-actualization.  The theories’ contrast on what they focus on after self-actualization. Maslow on the other hand focused on understanding the characteristics of self-actualizingindividuals;while Rogers not only looked at the characteristics but also considered ways toachieveself-actualization as well as developing a therapy to overcome barriers that are restricting individuals from achieving their full potential.

Overall between the two theories of self-actualization it appears showing that Rogers believes that people can aim to become self-actualized however, Maslow only thinks that a small percentage can strive to that level.

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