Lack of Self Esteem
Self esteem is defined as regarding oneself as a worthwhile person or a positive evaluation of oneself.Let’s examine African adolescents self-esteem based on the following facts; parental marital status, income, family structure and functioning.Is it possible that the above mentioned facts could affect a confidence that is supposed to come from oneself? I believe these facts greatly affect the self-esteem in African boys and girls in different but very significant ways.
I choose this topic because it interested me and I’ll be free to express my feelings, and I willl like to help those adolescents who are lacking self-esteem with these essay because I know how it feels.
I must first start my essay with pointing out where the problem originates. Having grown up in a single parent, middle class income family and being the oldest of two children, I feel that I can now understand why I sometimes felt inadequate with myself. The unspoken pressure to make my mom proud and be a “good” big sister created this inadequacy.
This study definitely helped me understand this pressure and proved that unlike my thought at the time, I was not the only teenager going through this enormous drop in self-esteem. I mentioned some major facts that surrounds lack of self-esteem, 1. the parental marital status,2. the income and 3. the family structure and 4. Family Functioning. these are the functioning perspectives. First, that the self-esteem of boys and girls (boys especially) would be highly affected by their parents’ marital status. Second, that both genders would have higher quality of family functioning than single parent households.
The third prediction concluded that the effects of marital status on self-esteem would be less if family income was statistically matched with other families. The last hypothesis predicted that family functioning had a greater effect on self-esteem than family structure. The sample consisted of 200 fifteen year old African children from western part Nigeria with 74 being girls and the remainder boys. Parents were only included in study to provide income and marital status information. Half of the parents were married, 38% were divorced and 12% were single mothers (no single fathers were used).
The average household income was #57,500, 20% of the sample had an income less than 20,000 and 35% made over 35,000 a year. The tests that were used to measure the self-esteem and the family functioning measurement of the students were the Multi-Dimensional Self Esteem Inventory (MDSEI) and the Family Environment Scale (FES). The MDSEI is a 200 question test used to assess the individual aspects of self-esteem in each child. These aspects are feelings of competence, personal power, lovability, likeability, self-control, moral self-approval, and body functioning.
The FES consists of 90 true or false type questions to determine the environment within the family and it’s functioning. This test has proven accurate many times with African families even though the norms were determined from 285 predominately middle and upper class European American families. Each child was given $10 to partake in the tests and took them whenever was convenient. The results showed that boys with parents who are divorced are mainly at risk of developing a low self-esteem.
It also showed that family functioning was directly related to self-esteem in both boys and girls. I believe that this experiment was set up and conducted very well. The experimenters used a sample that was proven to be representative of the population they sought to test, and used testing methods that were tried and true. Testing conditions were not kept controlled but this probably had a minimal effect on the children’s responses. There were no noticeable errors in the experimentation other than the small sample used and its limited application one locale.