Date of Award

5-17-1997

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS)

Department

Liberal Studies

First Reader

Holley Hodgins

Second Reader

Ruth Andrea Levinson

Abstract

Self-esteem and self-concept theories are associated with psychological and social well-being as well as specific behavioral outcomes such as academic performance. The theories represent two ideas that are part of a multitude of empirical work stemming from "self-theories" in general. Furthermore, self-esteem and self-concept elements relate in myriad ways to the literature of motivation theory, particularly self-determination theory and perceived control. This paper will begin by examining the literature of self-esteem and self-concept in order to define the constructs and examine their relationships to age and sex differences. Then, a summary of self-determination theory will be necessary in order to understand causal relationships between self-theories, motivation, and academic performance.

In addition to literature research, the paper will include information from a small correlation study which was performed in order to determine the relationship between self-determination orientations and self-esteem scores. The results will be reported and analyzed and, then discussed in relationship to the literature with an interest in articulating theoretical and practical implications especially as they relate to adolescent girls in the secondary school environment.

Comments

Self-esteem and self-concept theories are associated with psychological and social well-being as well as specific behavioral outcomes such as academic performance. The theories represent two ideas that are part of a multitude of empirical work stemming from "self-theories" in general. Furthermore, self-esteem and self-concept elements relate in myriad ways to the literature of motivation theory, particularly selfdetermination theory and perceived control. This paper will begin by examining the literature of self-esteem and self-concept in order to define the constructs and examine their relationships to age and sex differences. Then, a summary of self-determination theory will be necessary in order to understand causal relationships between selftheories, motivation, and academic performance.

In addition to literature research, the paper will include information from a small correlation study which was performed in order to determine the relationship between self-determination orientations and self-esteem scores. The results will be reported and analyzed and, then discussed in relationship to the literature with an interest in articulating theoretical and practical implications especially as they relate to adolescent girls in the secondary school environment.

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