Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Management Studies

Self-Esteem and Aggression among School Students: A Comparative Study

Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Management Studies

Self-Esteem and Aggression among School Students: A Comparative Study

Article excerpt

The concept of self is probably that most distinctive and indispensible concept in psychology of personality. There is a vast literature in psychology dealing with nature of self esteem, development of self esteem and effect of self esteem on behavior and adjustment. The term self-esteem comes from a Greek word meaning "reverence for self." The "self' part of self-esteem pertains to the values, beliefs and attitudes that we hold about ourselves. The "esteem" part of self-esteem describes the value and worth that one gives oneself. Simplistically self-esteem is the acceptance of our selves for who and what we are at any given time in our lives. Hence an individual's self esteem is "how much he likes, accepts, and respects himself overall as a person". Self esteem plays a crucial part in our consciousness, in our personality concept and in our organism. Thus it is some kind of core in our being.

Mullis and Chapman (2000) studied the relationship between coping, gender, age and self-esteem of adolescent and found that adolescents with higher self esteem used more problem focused coping strategies and adolescents with low self esteem used more emotion focused coping strategies. A wide and diverse literature suggests that high self-esteem is positively, though not necessarily causally, associated with goals, expectancies, coping mechanisms, and behaviors that facilitate productive achievement and work experiences; and it is negatively associated with mental and physical health problems, substance abuse, and antisocial behavior (Brown, 1998; Harter, 1998; Flory, Lynam, Milich, Leukefeld, & Clayton, 2004; Donnellan, Trzesniewski, Robins, Moffitt, & Caspi, 2005; Trzesniewski et al., 2006; Robins, Tracy, & Trzesniewski, 2008).

Many studies evaluated gender differences in self-esteem and found that adolescent females score lower on self-esteem than do adolescent males (Nöttelmann, 1987; Cairns, Wigfield, Eccles, Mac Iver, Reuman, & Midgley, 1991). Simmons and Rosenberg (1975) found that more girls reported lower self-esteem than did boys during middle and late adolescence but not between the ages of 8 and 11. O'Malley and Bachman (1979) also found that females had statistically lower selfesteem than did males. Many researches indicated that individuals with low self esteem are more aggressive than individuals with high self esteem (Baumeister, Bushman, & Campbell, 2000). One of the most robust studies to show a relationship between low self-esteem and aggression was conducted by Donellan et al. (2005). They conducted two cross-sectional studies and one longitudinal study with children and teenagers in America and New Zealand, and found a strong relationship between low self-esteem and aggression, delinquency and anti-social behaviour. This relationship was found in both the cross-sectional and longitudinal studies, across all the age groups and after confounding factors had been controlled for. In a longitudinal study of American adolescents, Trzesniewski et al. (2006) also found that adolescents with low self-esteem grew up to have more criminal convictions compared to adolescents with high self-esteem; and that they were 1.48 times more likely to be convicted for a violent crime. Again in a cross sectional survey of Greek men and women, Papadaki et al. (2009) found that self-esteem was negatively correlated with self-reported physical violence towards intimate partners, but not with self-reported sexual or emotional violence. Additional studies which support the low self-esteem hypothesis include Sutherland and Shepherd (2002), Parker et al. (2005), Murphy et al. (2005), and Lopez et al. (2006). Hence it can be said each behaviour of an individual, simple or complex is influenced by how he perceives himself, if an individual feels he/she is accepted socially he/she will act friendly and cooperatively. On the contrary ifhe/ she has negative self view, he/ she often express aggressive behavior.

The term 'aggression' refers to any form of behaviour directed toward the goal of harming or injuring another living being who is motivated to avoid such treatment. …

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