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Self Esteem as an Explanatory Phenomenon for Student Problem Behavior Fact or Fiction?
Self Esteem • What is it? • Operational/observable definition? • How does one improve their self esteem?
JJ • JJ is a 9th grade student in a Behavior School. • Behavior of Concern: self deprecating comments; “I’m stupid”, “I’m dumb”, “I hate my life”, “I’m horrible”, “I’m bad at this” • Teacher says behavior is related to extremely low self esteem and a longing for positive attention from adults and peers
ABC Observation In a 37 minute observation during Literacy Arts – LANGUAGE! Instruction -7 occurrences of self-deprecating comments
Example 2 JC
JC • Behavior Classroom • 1st grade student • Math group – small group instruction • Won’t try – fear of failure • Teacher says “Low Self Esteem”
Summary of self-esteem research from “NurtureShock” by Bronson & Merryman (2009)
Self Esteem • Branden (1969) The Psychology of Self Esteem • Wrote (opined)) that self esteem was the single most important facet of a person • the belief that one must do whatever he can to achieve positive self-esteem has become a movement w/ broad societal effects
Self Esteem • By 1984 California created an official Self Esteem Task Force • Believing that improving citizens’ self esteem would do everything from lower dependence on welfare to decrease teen pregnancy Self esteem turned into a “unstoppable train” • Anything potentially damaging to kids self esteem was axed • E.g. Competition (not keeping score, trophies for all), red pencils, etc.
Self Esteem • 2003 Review of Self Esteem Literature by Baumeister • From 1970 to 2000 there were over 15000 scholarly articles written on self esteem • BUT results were often contradictory or inconclusive • ALSO polluted w/ flawed science • Only 200 studies employed scientifically sound way to measure self-esteem and its’ outcomes
Self Esteem • Review of 200 sound studies found: (Baumeister, 2003) • High self esteem didn’t: • Improve grades • Improve career achievement • Reduce alcohol use • Lower violence • Found highly aggressive, violent people tend to think very highly of themselves