An exploration of the relationship between school setting and the self-esteem of grade-six girls
Master of Social Work (MSW)
Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work
This study had three purposes: 1) to explore the relationship of school setting and the self-esteem of grade-six girls, with setting deﬁned in terms of elementary (K-6), middle (6-8) and combined (K-8); 2) to explore the relationship of school setting and the self-esteem of grade-six girls, with setting deﬁned in terms of urban and rural; 3) to contribute Canadian knowledge to the predominantly American research on the relationship between self-esteem of students and school settings and transitions. Two major theories from this literature emerge. The ﬁrst, a cumulative change theory, suggests that the cumulative effects of developmental changes and the stress of making transitions are responsible for the drop in girls’ self-esteem. The second, a mismatch theory, points to the mismatch of middle school environments and practices with the developmental stages of youth as the cause of lowered self-esteem. Using an informal questionnaire and the standardized School Form of the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory, this study examined the self-esteem of 130 grade-six girls in samples across the three school settings in each of the rural and urban settings. The design used a single time-point assessment at the end of the grade-six year. Results of the statistical analyses did not support the hypotheses. However, a trend in the data did support the hypothesis that grade-six girls in the middle (6-8) school setting may have lower self-esteem than girls in the other two settings. This study suggests that further research including larger samples and multiple sources of data is indicated. A signiﬁcant relationship was found between girls’ self-esteem and the experience of changing schools, as well as self-esteem and the employment status of girls’ fathers. There was also a signiﬁcant relationship between school setting and girls’ reports of being in a couple relationship, although not in the direction expected.
Kropf, Maureen Thoroughgood, "An exploration of the relationship between school setting and the self-esteem of grade-six girls" (1999). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 163.