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term paper about Self-esteem in adolescence
9 Pages font 12 double spaced

The topic must be addressed as it relates to the period of adolescence.

It must also be related to this file given below

Chapter 4: The Self, Identity, Emotions, and Personality


A. Self-Understanding

§ What Is Self-Understanding?

o The individual’s cognitive representation of the self

o the substance and content of self-conceptions.

o Self-understanding is a social-cognitive construction

§ Dimension of Adolescents’ and Emerging Adults’ Self-Understanding

o Abstraction and Idealism

o Differentiation

o The Fluctuating Self

o Contradictions within the Self

o Real vs. Ideal, True vs. False Selves

· possible self

– What individuals might become

– what they would like to become

– what they are afraid of becoming

o Soc ial Comparison

o Self-Consciousness

o Self-Protection

o The Unconscious Self

o Not Quite Yet a Coherent, Integrated Self

§ Emerging Adulthood and Adulthood

o More integrative self-understanding

§ Self-Understanding and Social Contexts

o Varies across

· Relationships

– Mother, father, close friend, romantic partner, peer

· Social roles

– Student, athlete, employee

· Ethnic/cultural background

· Experiences

B.Self-Esteem and Self-Concept

§ What Are Self-Esteem and Self-Concept?

o .jpg”>self-esteem

· The global evaluative dimension of the self

· Also self-worth or self-image

· Importance of peer judgment

· Positive or negative

· Factors

– Body image

– Media

– Peer pressure

– Achievement

– Expectations

– Wealth

– Parenting

– Race/ethnicity

– Sexual orientation

– Popularity

o self-concept

· Domain-specific evaluations of the self

· Academics, athletics, physical appearance, etc.

§ Self-Esteem: Perception and Reality

o Perceptions do not always match reality

§ Does Self-Esteem Change During Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood?

o Decrease in self-esteem during life transitions

o Self-esteem fluctuates across the life span

o Gender gap: women have lower self-esteem

o Cohort effect

· Todays’ adolescents

· Encouragement of self-esteem in schools

· Unmerited praise

· Inflated self-esteem

· Difficulty handling competition and criticism

§ Is Self-Esteem Linked to Success in School and Initiative?

o Moderately correlated

§ Are Some Domains More Closely Linked To Self-Esteem than Others?

o Physical appearance and attractiveness

§ Social Contexts and Self-Esteem

o Influence of family, peers, and schools on self-esteem

o Increasing importance of peer judgments

§ Consequences of Low Self-Esteem

o For most, the emotional discomfort of low self-esteem is temporary

o Depression, suicide, anorexia nervosa, delinquency, etc.

§ Increasing Adolescents’ Self-Esteem

o 4 ways to improve self-esteem

· Identify the causes of low esteem and the domains of competence important to the self

· Provide emotional support and social approval

· Foster achievement

· Help adolescents to cope

o Self-esteem often increases when adolescents face a problem and try to cope with it rather than avoid it.

o Facing problems realistically, honestly, and non-defensively

· produces favorable self-evaluative thoughts

· self-generated approval

· better self-esteem


A. Erikson’s Ideas on Identity

§ Revisiting Erikson’s Views of Identity

o .jpg”>.jpg”>.jpg”>identity versus identity confusion

· Erikson’s fifth developmental stage

· During adolescence

· Questions

– Who am I?

– What am I all about?

– What am I going to do with my life?

– What is different about me?

– How can I make it on my own?

o These Q’s surface as a common, universal concern during adolescence

o .jpg”>.jpg”>.jpg”>psychosocial moratorium

· the gap between childhood security and adult autonomy

· part of adolescents’ identity exploration.

§ Personality and Role Experimentation

o Experimenting with different roles and personalities

§ Some Contemporary Thoughts on Identity

o Identity development is a lengthy, gradual process

B.The Four Statuses of Identity (Marcia)

§ crisis = choosing among meaningful alternatives; exploration

§ commitment = a personal investment in future



identity diffusion



identity foreclosure



identity moratorium



identity achievement



§ 3 important aspects of identity development

o Confidence in parental support

o Established sense of industry

o A self-reflective stance toward the future

C.Developmental Changes in Identity

D.Identity and Social Contexts

§ Family Influences on Identity

o Parenting Styles

· Permissive

· Authoritative

– Constraining

– Autocratic

· Authoritarian

– Enabling

– Democratic

o .jpg”>Important elements

· .jpg”>.jpg”>Individuality

– Self-assertion = the ability to have and communicate a point of view

– Separateness = the use of communication patterns to express how one is different from others.

· .jpg”>.jpg”>Connectedness

– Mutuality = sensitivity to and respect for others’ views

– Permeability =openness to others’ views

§ Cultural and Ethnic Identity

o ethnic identity

· a sense of membership in an ethnic group

· the attitudes and feelings related to the membership

· increases with age

o .jpg”>.jpg”>bicultural identity

· Identifying with both their ethnic group and with the majority culture in different ways

§ Gender and Identity

o Gender differences in identity are disappearing

E. Identity and Intimacy

§ intimacy versus isolation

o Erikson’s sixth developmental stage

o during the early adulthood years

o forming intimate relationships with others


A. The Emotions of Adolescence

§ .jpg”>Emotion

– Feeling or a state

– Affect of an interaction that is important to the individual

– Reflection of pleasantness or unpleasantness

– Vary in intensity

§ Early adolescence

– More frequent emotional highs and lows

– Moodiness is a normal aspect

– Most eventually emerge from these moody times

– Intense negative emotions can reflect serious problems

B.Hormones, Experience, and Emotions

§ Adolescents’ moods become less extreme as they approach adulthood

– Possibly due to adaptation to hormone levels

§ Influence of hormonal changes and environmental experiences

– Environmental experiences > Hormonal changes

C.Emotional Competence

§ Awareness of the role of emotions in relationships

§ Self-regulatory strategies to cope with negative emotions

– Reducing the intensity and duration

§ The ability to discern others’ emotions

§ Controlling emotionally expressive behavior

§ Being aware of one’s emotional states without being overwhelmed by them


A. Personality

§ Stability = the achievement of an identity

§ Change = the exploration of new identities and modification

§ Personality = traits + situations

§ .jpg”>.jpg”>.jpg”>Big five factors of personality

o Openness to experience

– Imaginative or practical

– Variety or routine

– Independent or conforming

o Conscientiousness

– Organized or disorganized

– Careful or careless

– Disciplined or impulsive

o Extraversion

– Sociable or retiring

– Fun-loving or somber

– Affectionate or reserved

o Agreeableness

– Softhearted or ruthless

– Trusting or suspicious

– Helpful or uncooperative

o Neuroticism (emotional stability)

– Calm or anxious

– Secure or insecure

– Self-satisfied or self-pitying


§ Temperament

o An individual’s behavioral style and characteristic way of responding

o Evolves across childhood and then into a set of personality traits

§ Temperament Categories (Chess and Thomas)

o easy child

– Generally in a positive mood

– Quickly establishes regular routines

– Adapts easily to new experiences

o difficult child

– Reacts negatively to many situations

– Slow to accept new experiences

o slow-to-warm-up child

– A low activity level

– somewhat negative

– displays a low intensity of mood

§ Developmental Connections and Contexts

o An easy temperament in childhood is linked with more optimal development and adjustment in adolescence and adulthood

o When the contexts in which individuals live as problematic, the long-term outcomes of having a difficult temperament are exacerbated.

o Individuals with an inhibited temperament in childhood are less likely to be assertive or experience social support as adolescents and emerging adults and more likely to delay entering a stable job track.

o goodness of fit

– The match between an individual’s temperament style and the environmental demands the individual must cope with

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