Thursday, February 10, 2011

Promoting Self-Esteem in Adolescents: The Influence of Wellness Factors

Jane E. Myers and José A. Villalba, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Counseling and Educational Development; John T. Willse, Universtiy of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Educational Research and Measurement
Journal of Counseling & Development, 89(1), 2011
What was the purpose of this research?
The purpose of this study was to assess the extent to which wellness factors are predictive of components of self-esteem in adolescents.
Who were the participants, and what were they asked to do?
140 high school students from a private school in the Southeastern US participated in the study. Participants completed three online surveys: a demographics form, the Five Factor Wellness Inventory, and the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventories-School Form.
Major findings:
The study findings support the original hypothesis that wellness factors are predictive of self-esteem in adolescents. Specifically, perceived ability to cope, perceived social support, and perceived creativity were found to be positively related to self-esteem. The Coping Self, one of the wellness factors from the Indivisible Self Wellness Model, was consistently related to all four components of self-esteem from the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory, suggesting that it has the most effect on self-esteem.
Major caveats:
The study participants were recruited from a single private school, and it should not be assumed that the finding apply outside of that setting before follow up studies have been performed.
What does this research mean for counseling practice?
The study provides an indication of which areas of wellness are most salient in addressing adolescent self-esteem. Focusing interventions in areas of coping, social support, and creativity may be more helpful than interventions in other areas. The demonstrated link between self-esteem and academic performance may also provide leverage to school counselors in getting school administrations to support wellness counseling services.

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