Self Esteem And Development

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Self-esteem, a key concept of social psychology, involves self-perception. Effected by a child’s awareness of themselves and their surroundings as well as their expectations of functionality, self-esteem development continues throughout the life span. The development of a healthy sense of self-esteem is not black and white and in early childhood, this burden falls largely on the caregiver. The caregiver is responsible for creating and maintaining an informative environment for the child to successfully grow. Subsequently, the research regarding how to do so is constantly evolving. This literature review will provide information on self-esteem, and its development and longitudinal effects, as well as analyze studies involving the relationship…show more content…
Termed, “a key to a successful life”, a child’s self-esteem is quite important to their caregiver. Self-esteem, according to Smith and Mackie (2007), is a person’s self-concept about themselves, which can result in both negative and positive assessments. Self-esteem can predict both future successes and failures in domains such as health, work ethic, socioeconomic status, and relationships (Orth, Robins, Trzesniewski, 2010). According to a study by Orth, Macs, and Schmitt (2014), self-esteem development is longitudinal, meaning levels at one stage in life are likely to effect self-esteem levels at a future stage. Although able to regularly change, self-esteem is largely viewed as a global characteristic developing overtime (Orth et al., 2010). Research suggests a quadratic curve with regards to self-esteem formation (Smith et al., 2007). Due to the fluctuating nature of self-esteem and its development through the life span, there is increasing research studying the effects of early life experiences and self-esteem development. Self-esteem, though partially affected by genetics, can be altered based on a child’s environment (AAP, 2004). Self-esteem is not dependent on one moment’s interaction, but ongoing interactions over time. With many studies indicating that high self-esteem levels suggest future successes, caregivers strive to create the…show more content…
A cross-culture study by Yanping Wang and Thomas Ollendick, 2001 analyzed the development of self-esteem in Chinese children compared to Western children. A key aspect of this study was to understand differential cultural backgrounds with regards to the notion of an “imposed etic” versus a “derived etic”. The study analyzed these two cultures because of a stark contrast between the collectivist Chinese upbringing and the individualist Western society. The findings of this study showed that Chinese toddlers and children, due to factors including a more authoritarian upbringing and the lack of word for self-esteem in the Chinese language, do not exhibit the quintessential Western view of self-esteem although they do still engage in self-evaluative processes (Wang and Ollendick, 2001). Kearney (1999) cited and analyzed studies looking at gender differences in self-esteem development. Gender differences are more prevalent in puberty and early adolescence, due to anatomical and psychological changes, and there does not seem to be a correlation between self esteems levels and gender. Although a multitude of studies indicate lower self-esteem in adolescent girls, an interesting topic for further research is to look at the imposed gender differences early in a child’s upbringing (Kearney, 1999). It is imperative
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