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Self Esteem and Adolescence

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Published: Fri, 15 Sep 2017

Amber Le

Many high school students today graduate and aspire to pursue post-secondary education. One of the many necessary criteria that these students are often required to meet include college entrance exams such as the Scholastic Assessment Test (also known as SAT) or the American College Testing (also known as ACT). These standardized admission tests are taken by high school students where they later receive scores of their performance that determine what range of colleges and universities their scores are capable of satisfying. Today, there are people who oppose to the idea of colleges using these numbers to be one of many benchmarks for determining admissions, as these people do not believe that the numbers that result in taking these standardized test directly reflect upon a student’s intelligence, but rather their ability to answer questions at a given amount of time. Whatever the belief, these test results are legitimate nonetheless. For some people, these test results narrows down their post-secondary paths to limit them, and for others, opportunities are opened up. One can assume that many would prefer the latter result after receiving input on their academic performance, as receiving unsatisfying results is unpleasant for virtually all of us. From this, the question arises of how academic performance, such as these standardized tests, can affect a person’s self-esteem.

First off, what is self-esteem? In Merriam-Webster, self-esteem is define as, “a confidence and satisfaction in oneself”. A research from University of California, Davis, elaborates on self-esteem, explaining: Self-esteem is how we value ourself; It is how we perceive our value to the world and how valuable we think we are to others. Self-esteem affects our trust in others, our relationships, our work- nearly every part of our lives.

This description of self-esteem describes to us that self-esteem plays an immense role in the outcome of a person’s life. A person’s self esteem can be affected by many factors that involve in affecting their confidence or satisfaction in oneself. This can be different for many people, as values along with levels of confidence greatly varies from person to person. The general factors include, social relationships, family, school, society, media, feedback, consequences in life, popularity, success, and a person’s way of handling things. Self-esteem is important because along with self-awareness, self-esteem is a sine qua non playing a role in a person’s ability to realize their own potential and build confidence on themselves.

Although there is no mathematical equation to measure exactly how much self-esteem a person has that will result in a specific end product, there are ways to approximate a person’s self-esteem, based on questions that narrow down the results to a general answer. The Rosenberg Self Esteem scale is a scale often used in social-science research that involve in a series of questions relating to a person’s self esteem. These series of questions allow subjects to answer their questions by agreeing or disagreeing to questions and stating to what degree they agree or disagree. There is then a score at the end of the questionnaire, that shows where that subject self esteem lies. This will help our experiment because we are experimenting to see if there is a change in these self-esteem test results, before and after our subjects have been given test results that please them and test results that do not please them.

In such a physically, mentally, and emotionally formative age, adolescents experience and are exposed to many things that affect who they become later in life. These things can both be positive and negative things. At this age, adolescents are exposed to a wide variety of environments that include social, competitive, and academic- all that have the capability of affecting self-esteem. In all reality, any environments we are in are capable of affecting our self-esteem. Nonetheless, being exposed to great motley of these environments greater the likeliness of one’s self-esteem of being affected. In social environments, factors such as relationships with friends and families can affect one’s self esteem, where good and reliable relationships have greater chances of improving self-esteem, and unhealthy relationships have greater chances of lowering self-esteem. All these apply for the other environments. As stated before, anything that affects the satisfaction of one’s self affects self-esteem. In competitive circumstances, one might not be satisfied if they feel as though they failed to perform to their greatest potential, thus causing, though trivial, to become possibly vulnerable of having lower self esteem.

Through observation and research, it is possible to believe that self-esteem associates with an adolescent’s academics and their social skills. The ability for an adolescent to perform well in both environments affects the levels of their self-esteem. Switch it around, and it would also make sense to say that having the deserving amount of self-esteem can affect the way something is done. However, research cannot prove entirely that self-esteem does propose these actions, but it is all left for the individual to do what they believe is correct. Educational and social achievements promote positive self-esteem. which creates the idea of a healthy climate. The act of achieving encourages the desire to continue and to feel motivated. Most schools and communities want their youth to constantly feel this way so that the lack of participation and the struggle to engage should not have to be a problem.  The effects of failure are the opposite and they play a different role in an adolescent’s way of living. Failure can affect the levels of self-esteem by influencing depressive symptoms among those who do so. Failing also creates mental effects that can affect a person’s ability to decide in the long run. These negative effects can continue to discourage the tendency to feel motivated. From these two stances, one  could either try to do better again or quit entirely.

Besides the number of accomplishments and failures being made, there are plenty of other factors that can affect one’s self esteem level. Many of these factors can be simple things, but can also be complex and affect you for the rest of your life. The factor that tends to influence self-esteem the most are commonly negative. ADD DETAIL. Negative factors happen to be more prominent in the way self-esteem is handled because it’s harder to get back into the habit of setting goals and achieving them. It would be better to just consider stopping whatever you planned on pursuing. There are personal factors that can help you discover your own identity and make you feel a certain way based off of who you want to be, and there are also environmental factors that can go to the highest extent and urge you to feel a certain way based off of everything that is around you. Personal factors can include ideas that relate towards past childhood, family, and genetics. Depression is a major influence on levels of self-esteem and is the result of not being able to regain that high level of self-esteem. Body image, social experience, performance, and voice are among the common environmental factors most adolescents allow to affect their self-esteem.

[[[Luckily, there are many skills and techniques that can improve an individual’s level of self-esteem. Some ideas include therapies or practices that can encourage individuals to feel confident in the way that they perform during their daily tasks. The key is to maintain a sustainable level of self-esteem throughout your life so that it is not too high or too low. The right amount of self-esteem will help you in your life, but too much of it can be troublesome. Having too high of a self esteem level does not allow you to healthily challenge yourself and benefit you in your views of life. Characteristics of those who have too high of a self esteem level tend to assign themselves to a superiority, blind themselves from their own faults, and limit themselves to the ability of change and improvement. However, having too low self-esteem isn’t something you’d want either. It can lead to some dangerous effects.  Having too low of a self-esteem level will put stress on your thoughts, decisions, and overall life. There are extreme consequences in promoting a lifestyle of low self-esteem. Some activities that allow you to build and keep your levels of self-esteem include developing new hobbies, exercising, and simple positive thinking. Keep in mind the effect you have towards other individuals who surround you as a close friend, family, or stranger. The way that you interact with another can also influence the way they control their self-esteem level. Low self-esteem is an issue that can extremely affect youth development and social behaviors worldwide.]]]

Adolescents are at an age where they aren’t spending as much of their time at home anymore and they are beginning to become more actively involved throughout their school and community. Because growing up is a huge factor in the form of self-esteem, self-esteem is seen more often in adolescents than seen in adults. Remember that self-esteem can influence decisions made outside of your home and your school. Evidently self-esteem plays a role in specific environments such as social, athletic, and academic. Most importantly, the amount of self-esteem an adolescent has can affect their performance in many different ways. It affects their activity advancement and improvement. These things are important towards their growth and future successes. Will those who have higher self-esteem levels continue to life their life more successfully than those who don’t have as much self-esteem? Tons of factors allow an individual to determine what they want to do and how they want to continue feeling. It is important to understand the significance of one’s performance; it just so happens that these factors affect it.

Works Cited

Adolescence and Self-Esteem. (n.d.). Retrieved January 19, 2017, from

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/surviving-your-childs-adolescence/201009/adolescence-and-self-esteem

B. (n.d.). 9 Factors That Affect Self Awareness And Self Esteem. Retrieved January 19, 2017,

from http://selfprogress.co.uk/9-factors-that-affect-self-awareness-and-self-esteem/

C., & About Chris Youth Expert, Parenting Coach, & Editor of Understanding Teenagers.

(2016, February 27). Teenagers and Self Esteem: Key Factors • Understanding Teenagers Blog. Retrieved January 19, 2017, from http://understandingteenagers.com.au/blog/teenagers-and-self-esteem-key-factors/

Factors Affecting Self-Esteem in Teens. (2015, June 27). Retrieved January 19, 2017, f

rom http://www.livestrong.com/article/557343-factors-affecting-self-esteem-in-teens/

Raevuori, A., Dick, D. M., Keski-Rahkonen, A., Pulkkinen, L., Rose, R. J., Rissanen, A., . . .

Silventoinen, K. (2007, November). Genetic and environmental factors affecting self-esteem from age 14 to 17: a longitudinal study of Finnish twins. Retrieved January 19, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2084483/


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