Self Esteem

Essay by badkittie9High School, 12th gradeA-, June 2004

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There is the basic question about human nature that has psychologists baffled. What is self-esteem? And, how is it measured? (4). Everyone has self-esteem, so why hasn't more research gone into discovering the answers to these questions? But the answers have been found. Varying self-esteem levels in human beings result from many different influences an individual's life (3). Everyone does have self-esteem, but they each have a unique form of it. There can't be an exact definition for self-esteem, and there isn't precise way to measure it. Therefore, the focus needs to be on what influences determine self-esteem levels, the effects of low self-esteem, and how self-esteem can be raised.

Early childhood experiences that lead to low self-esteem include being yelled at or beaten, being ignored, ridiculed or teased, expected to be perfect all the time, experiencing failure in sports and school, and harsh criticism. Children are often given the message when they fail on something, such as a test, that they are failures themselves (5).

Teens often experience a lot of changes in their self-esteem because they are going through a lot of changes in their lives. It is greatly affected by how friends, teachers, and parents see them, or how teens think they see them. It also can be affected by body image. Teens' bodies are changing and the changes are sometimes awkward. Therefore, self-esteem is most unstable and sensitive during the teen years (5).

The strongest influence on an adolescence's self-esteem are the parents. Different parenting styles produce different levels of self-esteem in children. Parents' views on schoolwork ethic, appearance, and acceptance, in their children as well as themselves, set the level of the teen's esteem. The most damaging affect a parent can have on a child is through abuse whether physically, sexually, or even verbally. Family...