The Self Bandura – the set of cognitive processes and structures that are concerned with thoughts and perception (Schultz, 2001) the combination of physical and psychological attributes that is unique to each individual (Shaffer, 2005)
The Self-Concept the perception one has of their unique combination of attributes (Shaffer, 2005) self-concept is developed through communicating to others. it is characterized by social relationships we have with people in our surrounding environment. We develop our opinions about ourselves by observing the ways other respond to and communicate with us. (Luke, 2012)
The Emerging Self The point at which the sense of self emerges or comes to the fore front in childhood emerges in the early years of life and continues to develop into adulthood Unclear as to when children become aware of themselves Most research has found that this starts around the age of 2-3 months
Self Recognition ability to recognise oneself in a mirror or a photograph, coupled with the conscious awareness that the mirror or photograph is a representative of the self Rouge Test (Shaffer, 2005)
Theory of mind: proposed to explain this acquisition process and development It is construed as the “…understanding that people are cognitive beings with rich mental lives that are available to themselves and not to others” (p. 466, Shaffer, 1996).
The term self-concept is a general term used to refer to how someone thinks about or perceives themselves. The self helps us determine how we process information related to the self (e.g., the motives behind our behavior). The looking-glass self is a social psychological concept, created by Charles Horton Cooley in 1902 ,stating that a persons self grows out of societys interpersonal interactions and the perceptions of others.
Baumeister (1999) provides the following self concept definition: "the individuals belief about himself or herself, including the persons attributes and who and what the self is". Lewis (1990) suggests that development of a concept of self has two aspects: -(1) The Existential Self(2) The Categorical Self
Children in middle childhood are struggling to understand who they are, and continue to explore answers to the question “Who am I?”
Children increase in the development of perspective taking. Between ages 8 and 15, children start to depend more on peers for feedback. However, parents continue to remain influential
During middle childhood, children begin to view themselves less in terms of external physical attributes and more in terms of psychological traits. Children realize they are good at some things and not so good at others. Their self-concepts become divided into personal and academic spheres…
As children get older, their views of self become more differentiated.
DEVELOPMENT OF SELFUNDERSTANDING Changes in self esteem and self concept due to Social Comparisons Social Comparisons: judging one’s appearance, abilities, and behavior in relation to those of others.
Children use SOCIAL COMPARISON, comparing themselves to the abilities, expertise, and opinions of others. Festinger proposed that when objective measures are absent, people rely on social reality to evaluate themselves (understanding that comes from studying how others act, think, feel, and view the world). Children look to others who are similar to themselves.
Children increasingly compare themselves to others. Children are developing their own internal standards. Self-esteem, for most children, increases during middle childhood.
Therefore children begin to compare themselves to othersby their age sports academics physical attributes
Sometimes children make downward social comparisons with others who are obviously less competent or successful to raise or protect their self-esteem. Downward social comparisons involve comparing ourselves to someone who is in a worse state than us, thereby raising our self-esteem (e.g., finding someone with a worse test grade than yours)
Erikson’s Industry vs. Inferiority According to Erikson, a combination of adult expectations and children’s drive towards mastery creates the crisis in this stage. Formal schooling and socialization. Children are learning roles and talents.
Success in this stage is evidenced by feelings of mastery, proficiency, and confidence. Children evaluate themselves in terms of physical and psychological characteristics, but they also think of themselves as being good or bad (involves emotions).
Adolescence Self Concept Adolescents mention attitudes, personality traits, religious/political beliefs, variation with context, and an orientation to the future.. Adolescents use hypothetical reasoning to experiment with different selves Adolescence is characterized by self-absorption, imaginary audience, personal fable, and illusion of invulnerability.
In adolescence, the self is defined by abstract characteristics, social competence, and social acceptance Adolescents can conceive of themselves in terms of a variety of selves, depending on the context With friends, siblings, parents, etc… Adolescents create a variety of selves in their search for identity
The adolescent thinker is more capable of complex thought, as previously discussed, but they experience the return of egocentrism. Adolescents experience cognitive distortions that effect the way adolescents see the world. Imaginary audience Personal fable Illusions of invulnerability
Erikson’s Identity vs. Identity Confusion – the period during which teenagers seek to determine what is unique and distinctive about themselves Adolescents increasingly rely on their friends and peers as sources of information about their identity.
Self Esteem Self Esteem is used to describe a persons overall sense of self- worth or personal value. It may involve a variety of beliefs about the self, such as the appraisal of ones own appearance, beliefs, emotions and behaviours. (Braden, 1969). Positive links between healthy self-esteem including: happiness, humility, resilience and optimism. Low self-esteem is related to stress, depression anxiety and eating disorders.
Is self-esteem stable overtime? Changes is seen in Self-Esteem Some children experience a decline into middle and high school Multiple stressors likely to contribute to declines Overall stability is lowest in childhood and early adolescence Relatively stable in late adolescence and early adulthood
Culture, Ethnicity and Self Esteem Most research and theory on self-concept and self-esteem are based on Western cultures and populations. Self-esteem in Individualistic Cultures (US) is more likely to be based on the achievement of personal goals, whereas in the Collective Cultures (Asia, China) self-esteem is derived from the achievement of collective goals, such as those of family or society. Harry Triandis (1989). Hazel Markus and Shinobu Kitayama (1991) propose a similar distinction between Western and Eastern cultures in their
Parental and Peer Influence The family is seen as the first medium of socialization. Most common negative impacts on self esteem are the verbal abuse children receive. Parental modelling is an important as any words that can be spoken. Positive modelling behaviours and positive self-talk. Children adapt the behaviours attitudes, precepts and self talk we instil in them. “Many experienced parents have noted, children won’t always do as you say but usually do as you do” (Manassis 1996).
Establishing Positive Self-Esteem Establishing Positive Self-Esteem begins with parents. Look after yourself physically; Accept your imperfections (low self-esteem can lead to eating disorders) Slow down personalizing Develop skills. Do things for pleasure, for fun Use rewards, but avoid punishments Cultivate good relationships - with yourself and others Appreciate your body.