The aims are to pursue our programmatic investigation of the developing child's self-esteem. A major focus will be on children's sense of global self-worth. We will be interested in the determinants of self-worth, the processes through which it is conserved and enhanced, as well as the role of self-worth as a mediator of affect and motivation. We are interested in examining these issues from a normative-developmental perspective, as well as from the perspective of individual differences. Our approach to the self-concept focusses on domain-specific evaluations as well as children's overall evaluation of their global self-worth as a person. We will continue to examine our theoretical model which draws upon James (self-esteem equals the ratio of one's successes to one's pretensions ) and Cooley (self-esteem represents the incorporation of the opinions which significant others hold about the self) with regard to the determinants of self-worth. We will extend the application of this model to adolescents, college students, and middle-aged adults. We will also continue to investigate the functional role which self-worth plays in mediating affect (cheerful to depressed) as well as motivation (interest/energy level). The strong relationship between self-worth and affect will be examined in normative populations, as well as among children who have been diagnosed as clinically depressed. We will also develop a behavioral measure of presented self-esteem for young children, who do not have the concept of global self-worth, longitudinally examining the relationship between the two constructs, once the concept emerges. In addition, we will address the issue of the stability of one's concept of self-worth, identifying factors which may make it difficult for children and adolescent to """"""""conserve the self"""""""". Major emphasis will be placed on process variables, e.g., the mechanisms through which one comes to protect and enhance the self, e.g., discounting the importance of areas in which one is not competent, taking more responsibility for successes than failures, and seeing one's positive attributes as the core postulates of one's self-theory. We will attempt to address the theoretical, methodological, empirical and applied significance of each of these topics.
|Bouchey, Heather A (2004) Parents, teachers, and peers: discrepant or complementary achievement socializers? New Dir Child Adolesc Dev :35-53|
|Connell, J P (1985) A new multidimensional measure of children's perceptions of control. Child Dev 56:1018-41|