Self-Esteem, Occupational Self-Esteem, and Epistemological Beliefs of Turkish University Students

By Oztas, Fulya | Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, April 2010 | Go to article overview
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Self-Esteem, Occupational Self-Esteem, and Epistemological Beliefs of Turkish University Students


Oztas, Fulya, Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal


Cummins and Nistico (2002) argued that self-esteem is crucial for individuals' life satisfaction. Accordingly, self-esteem can be regarded as one of the main factors that affect life satisfaction. Individuals who have high levels of self-esteem are better at organizing the goals they want to achieve and strive for success to the extent their individual values allow (Crocker, Brook Niiya, & Villacorta, 2006). Researchers (Humphreys, 1998; Makikangas, Kinnunen, & Feldt, 2004) have found a positive relationship between perceived control, optimism, self-enhancement, and self-esteem. Humphreys describes individuals with high self-esteem as extroverted, optimistic, communicative, open to criticism, good at problem solving, and respectful of others' differences. By contrast, he describes individuals with low self-esteem as having low self-confidence, criticizing themselves in all aspects, being unable to have close and meaningful relationships, and as pessimistic, fatalistic, too perfectionistic, withdrawn, lonely, inflexible, indecisive, too sensitive to criticism, afraid of making a mistake, afraid of failure, and always suspicious of change.

Epistemological beliefs are also known to have an influence on individuals' life satisfaction. Schommer-Aikins (2004) proposed a multidimensional model of personal epistemology based on Perry's (1970) studies, composed of a set of more or less independent epistemological beliefs. According to this model, multiple beliefs about the structure of knowledge, certainty of knowledge, sources of knowledge, control of learning, and speed of knowledge acquisition make up one's personal epistemology, and these beliefs can develop asynchronously and more or less independently of one another.

Currently, many students come to university unprepared to accomplish these tasks (Pajares, 1992). It is important to discover how best universities can prepare students to meet demands relating to educational settings and their lives beyond college. The findings from this study may contribute to understanding epistemological beliefs as well as learner perception of self-directedness.

METHOD

SAMPLE

The research was conducted using a relational scanning model. The sample was composed of 212 final-year students in the Health Services Academy at Konya Selcuk University. The surveys were administered in May 2008.

DATA COLLECTION TOOLS

Self-Esteem Scale The Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965) is composed of 32 items and the Cronbach's alpha reliability coefficient is .90 (n = 152), with a test-retest reliability coefficient of .70 (n = 92, p < .01). The content validity of the scale was verified by 34 experts from nine different universities. To test the structure validity, a factor analysis was conducted. The validity coefficient of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale was found to be .69 (n = 92, p < .01). The Turkish translation and adaptation of the Satisfaction With Life Scale (Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin, 1985) was carried out by Koker (1991), and the results of studies of the scale's reliability revealed that the test-retest reliability was r = .85, and the item-test correlations were found to be between .71 and .80.

Occupational Self-Esteem Scale The Occupational Self-Esteem Scale, developed by Aricak (1999) for Turkish students, is composed of 30 items and its Cronbach's alpha coefficient is .93 (n = 152), with a test-retest reliability coefficient of .90 (n = 92, p < 01). The content validity of the scale was verified by 34 experts from nine different universities and in order to test its structure validity, factor analysis was carried out.

Epistemological Beliefs Scale The Epistemological Beliefs Scale was developed by Schommer (1990) with the aim of measuring students' epistemological beliefs. Its validity and reliability for Turkish university students was proved by Deryakulu and Buyukozturk (2002).

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