The Relationship between Significant Others' Positive and Negative Statements, Self-Talk and Self-Esteem

By Burnett, Paul C.; McCrindle, Andrea R. | Child Study Journal, March 1999 | Go to article overview

The Relationship between Significant Others' Positive and Negative Statements, Self-Talk and Self-Esteem


Burnett, Paul C., McCrindle, Andrea R., Child Study Journal


This study reports on a survey conducted with 269 primary school children in Grades 3 to 7 who completed self-report questionnaires measuring the frequency of positive and negative statements made by mother, father, teacher, and peers; their positive and negative self-talk; and their self-esteem. Class teachers also completed the Behavioral Indicators of Self-Esteem (BIOS) scale for each child. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to describe the relationships between these variables. A saturated model, which tested the mediating effect of self-talk between significant others' statements and self-esteem, was tested and modified.

Studies which have investigated the relationship between statements made by significant others and self-perceptions (Blake & Slate, 1993; Burnett, 1996a; Campbell, 1989; Elgin, 1980; Goodman & Ritini, 1991; Joubert, 1991) have found that positive interactions and statements made by significant others were related to high self-esteem and that negative interactions were associated with low self-esteem. Additionally, statements by significant others have also been found to be related to children's self-talk (Burnett, 1996b). Further, a number of studies (Burnett, 1994a; Kent & Gibbons, 1987; Lamke, Lujan & Showalter, 1988; Philpot, Holliman & Madonna, 1995) have reported associations between self-talk and self-perceptions. Collectively, the results of these studies suggest that self-talk may play a mediating role between statements made by significant others and self-concepts and self-esteem.

Statement by Significant Others and Self-Esteem

Four sources of significant others have been identified by Harter (1985) as being parents, teachers, classmates and close friends. Juhasz (1989) examined the importance of the type of significant other, using self-report to open questions and found that fifth and sixth graders' rank order of importance was mother, father, siblings, friends. However, in the seventh and eighth grade, friends become more important, and for university freshmen, teachers were high with friends and parents equal.

There is evidence that indicates that verbal abuse (negative statements by significant others) adversely affects self-esteem (Campbell, 1989), often resulting in the victim's self-degradation and blame (Elgin, 1980). Joubert (1991) investigated self-esteem of college students and mother and father treatment of self when younger and found that men with high self-esteem tended to have fair mothers, who were interested in their activities and less likely to engage in verbal abuse, while high self-esteem in women correlated with parental praise, interest, and less verbal put-downs. Verbal abuse was the only parental category influencing self-esteem for men and women, indicating the influence of positive and negative statements made by significant others. The effect of negative statements on self-perceptions is illustrated in the Goodman and Ritini (1991) study of the self-esteem of 8- to 10-year-old children whose mothers were diagnosed with depression. They classified the mothers' descriptions of their child with regards to school, peer relations, family relations, and sports using a positive/negative/neutral response format. Negative descriptions were classified as being critical/hostile, maternal over-involvement, self-blaming, or negative other statements. The results showed that the depressed mothers gave more negative emotional statements overall (specifically more critical/hostile and self-blame) and had children with lower self-esteem.

Blake and Slate (1993) developed the Verbal Interaction Questionnaire (VIQ) in response to lack of studies investigating the effects of parental verbal interactions on adolescents. They described four areas of verbal abuse: Belittling or berating; non-support; non-communication; and rejection and hostility. Their results showed that perceived parental verbal abuse was related to adolescent self-esteem (r = -.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Relationship between Significant Others' Positive and Negative Statements, Self-Talk and Self-Esteem
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.