Article

Who I Am The Meaning of Early Adolescents’ Most Valued Activities and Relationships, and Implications for Self-Concept Research

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Abstract

Self-concept research in early adolescence typically measures young people’s self-perceptions of competence in specific, adult-defined domains. However, studies have rarely explored young people’s own views of valued self-concept factors and their meanings. For two major self domains, the active and the social self, this mixed-methods study identified factors valued most by 526 young people from socioeconomically diverse backgrounds in Ireland (10-12 years), and explored the meanings associated with these in a stratified subsample (n = 99). Findings indicate that self-concept scales for early adolescence omit active and social self factors and meanings valued by young people, raising questions about content validity of scales in these domains. Findings also suggest scales may under-represent girls’ active and social selves; focus too much on some school-based competencies; and, in omitting intrinsically salient self domains and meanings, may focus more on contingent (extrinsic) rather than true (intrinsic) self-esteem.

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... Negative social/relational self-representations served as a risk factor for multiple forms of peer adversities, such as peer victimization and rejection, which in turn influenced children's perceptions of their peers (Caldwell, Rudolph, Troop-Gordon, & Kim, 2004;Salmivalli & Isaacs, 2005). Also, self-representations of school ability, peer acceptance, physical appearance, and physical abilities have been respectively linked to academic achievement, peer adjustment, and eating and exercise behaviours (Harter, 2015;Tatlow-Golden & Guerin, 2017). ...
... Finally, a third pattern regards the association of psychological neglect with higher levels of externalizing problems through opposition self-representations: children and adolescents with higher levels of psychological neglect reported more negative opposition self-representations, which were subsequently associated with higher levels of externalizing problems. Taken together, these findings support the general premise that self-representations matter for behaviour (Harter, 2015;Oyserman et al., 2012), and are in line with previous studies showing associations between domains of self-concept and several child and adolescent mental health outcomes (e.g., Tatlow-Golden & Guerin, 2017). Furthermore, results support the assumption that children's and adolescents' self-representations not only are associated with their psychopathology symptoms, but also seem to play an intervening role in how these are associated with maltreatment experiences. ...
Article
Background: Associations between maltreatment experiences and psychopathology symptoms in children and adolescents are well established. However, the role of domain-specific self-representations (SR) in those associations remains unexplored. Objective: This multi-informant study aimed to explore the indirect associations between maltreatment experiences and children's and adolescents' psychopathology symptoms (i.e., internalizing and externalizing problems), through domain-specific self-representations, and the moderating role of age in those indirect associations. Participants and setting: Participants were 203 children/adolescents (52.7 % boys), aged 8-16 years old (M = 12.64; SD = 2.47), referred to child/youth protection commissions, their parents, and case workers. Method: Case workers reported on child/adolescent maltreatment, children/adolescents reported on SR, and parents reported on psychopathology symptoms. Results: Controlling for chronicity of maltreatment and child/adolescent sex effects, multiple mediation path analysis revealed that: 1) higher levels of physical and psychological abuse were associated with less externalizing problems through more negative social SR; 2) higher levels of physical neglect were associated with more externalizing problems through more positive opposition SR; 3) higher levels of psychological neglect were associated with less externalizing problems through more negative physical appearance SR, and 4) associated with more externalizing problems through more negative opposition SR. Moreover, the indirect effects of physical and psychological abuse on internalizing and externalizing problems through instrumental SR were conditional on child/adolescent age. Conclusion: Findings signal the relevance of preventing child/adolescent maltreatment and promoting the construction of positive and, foremost, realistic and adaptive self-representations as protection against maladjustment.
... Consequently identity may range in degree of health and is influenced by many social-emotional, cognitive, physical, and behavioral factors (Goth et al., 2012). Adolescence is the most critical phase for development of a healthy identity as childhood experiences affect later adult roles such as occupation (Erikson, 1968;Harter, 2012;Tatlow-Golden & Guerin, 2017). Over time, identity has been described in many ways, for example, identity styles (Berzonsky, 2011), personality impairments or disorders (Kernberg, 2004) or simply as a social construct (Erikson, 1968). ...
... During adolescence, identity is molded by an overwhelming plethora of decision-making about future choices such as scholastic opportunities, social engagements, and level of participation in sports or leisure activities (Erikson, 1968;Tatlow-Golden & Guerin, 2017). According to Goth and Schmeck (2018), an integrated, or healthy identity is connected by a strong sense of self, feelings of security, stable thoughts, and a sense of belonging in a social context thereby developing public connectedness (Sollberger, 2013). ...
Article
Our identity develops with age, and many impacting factors will determine whether it is healthy or unhealthy. A particularly fragile phase of identity development occurs during adolescence when level of motor competence may be influential, yet is rarely considered. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine male and female adolescent’s perceptions towards their motor competence and identity development. In-depth information was also collected to understand what factors are important towards identity development during adolescence. Method: An explanatory sequential mixed methods study was used to examine the extent motor competence influenced the health of an adolescent’s identity. A sample of 160 adolescents (male n = 103, female n = 57, Mage = 14.45 SD = .75) completed the Adolescent Motor Competence Questionnaire (AMCQ) and the Assessment of Identity Development in Adolescence (AIDA). The AMCQ scores were used to group the participants into high (HMC = > 83) and low (LMC = < 83) motor competence. Results: More females had less-healthy identities than males and those with LMC had less-healthy identities than those with HMC. Subsamples of 17 participants were interviewed in order to explain these results. The most at risk group, females with LMC, identified negative peer comparisons, poor social support and higher stress levels to achieve academic performance as key challenges. Conclusions. Well-designed support services for those with LMC, especially for the females should incorporate activities to develop individual competency and close friendships.
... Prior research has also shown that negative social self-representations predict peer victimization and rejection (Caldwell, Rudolph, Troop-Gordon, & Kim, 2004;Salmivalli & Isaacs, 2005). Moreover, positive self-representations in the domains of school ability, peer acceptance, physical appearance, and physical abilities have been respectively associated with better school achievement, peer relations, and eating and exercise behavior (Harter, 2015;Marsh & Craven, 2006;Tatlow-Golden & Guerin, 2017). Therefore, considering the heightened vulnerability of these youth regarding the development of mental health problems, positive and adaptive self-representations, in different domains, might potentially function as a protective factor leading to better mental health and social behavior (Oyserman, 2015) and acting as a buffer against the impact of negative influences (Harter, 2015;Mann, Hosman, Schaalma, & Vries, 2004). ...
Article
The objective of this study was to explore the effects of previous maltreatment on current self-representations (i.e., the attributes used to describe oneself) of youth in residential care and the moderating role of gender, age, number of previous placements and length of placement in residential care. The sample was composed of 809 adolescents and youths in residential care. The youth completed the self-representation questionnaire for youths in residential care (SRQYRC). In order to analyze the impact of previous maltreatment on self-representation, retrospective accounts of previous maltreatment experiences were used, and a set of multiple regression analyses were conducted. Results of multiple regressions suggest previous experiences of maltreatment contribute to youth’s self-representations. Specifically, youth that experienced sexual abuse reported higher levels of negative self-representations (i.e., negative valence attributes, such as aggressive, sad, misfit, neglected) while youth that experienced physical and psychological abuse, emotional and educational maltreatment, and neglect in terms of physical provision reported less positive self-representations (i.e., positive valence attributes, such as nice, intelligent, cherished). Some of these associations were moderated by gender, age, number and length of placements in residential care. These results underline that the type of maltreatment has a differential impact on youth’s self-representation dimensions and that placement stability (i.e., without moving the youth other residential care placements), and the continuity of care in the same residential care unit may protect the self-representations of youth with previous experiences of abuse and neglect.
... Within psychology, the tendency to adopt adult constructed measurements to investigate the meanings children attribute to thinking about themselves (for example, their self-concept) has also received criticism (e.g. Tatlow-Golden & Guerin, 2017). The role of emotions, particularly negative emotions, in subjective wellbeing research is an illustration of this problem. ...
Article
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Limited research exists on young people's own views on their happiness, with research dominated by adult‐led, quantitative well‐being studies. This article discusses a qualitative study on young people's happiness which draws on both Psychology and Childhood and Youth Studies. In all, 42 young people completed writings and a new method of ‘happiness maps’, together with discussion groups and interviews, which were analysed within a constructivist grounded theory approach. Happiness is revealed as wide‐ranging, complex, and individually variable. Family and friends were important, but these relationships were qualified and contingent in how they contributed to happiness. Importantly, discussions of happiness also incorporated unhappiness.
... Even those who accept the core value of rights-based approaches, may not be swayed to invest resources in listening, and so it also helps to provide illustrations of the added value of this work. This could include the potential benefits that programmes will be more effective as they are better matched to children's expressed needs, priorities and aspirations, ensuring outcome measures have good face validity and are sensitive to treatment effects in areas of children's lives that could otherwise go undetected, and are not diluted or overlooked by reliance on proxy reports (see O'Farrelly et al., 2020;Tatlow-Golden & Guerin, 2017). Crucially this could also mean that quality of life measures, that are used to estimate and justify the cost effectiveness of interventions, are more sensitive to the areas of wellbeing that matter to children (Singh, 2017). ...
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Interventions aimed at improving children's lives are widespread and research evaluating these is central to policy decisions that affect their lives. Although there is an increasing move in intervention and evaluation research to include stakeholders’ perspectives this rarely extends to children's voices. As a psychologist committed to children's rights, this article explores my experiences of working at times on the fringes of my own discipline, drawing on wide‐ranging resources and collaborating with other disciplines. The article reflects on the challenges and opportunities of multidisciplinary research and bringing young children's perspectives into these places where they are rarely heard.
... Therefore the link between motor competence and academic achievement may be tenuous in this instance. Tatlow-Golden and Guerin [51] found that school based competencies were less important for an adolescents identity and self-concept as they placed greater importance on peer-based activities such as skateboarding and playing video games to develop their sense of self. ...
Article
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Background and aims A relationship exists between an adolescent’s level of motor competence and the health of their identity. As those with low motor competence (LMC) form less healthy identities, the aim of this study was to investigate if self-perceptions mediated the negative impact of LMC on identity health. Methods Adolescents (N = 160) completed the Adolescent Motor Competence Questionnaire (AMCQ), Assessment of Identity Development in Adolescence (AIDA) and the Self Perception Profile for Adolescence (SPPA). The mediating effect of their self-perceptions on the relationship between motor competence and identity health was examined in several ways: for the total sample, between male and females, and level of motor competence. Two motor competence groups were formed by dichotomizing their AMCQ scores (< 83 = LMC). Results There was an indirect effect of self-perceptions of social competence, physical appearance, romantic appeal, behavioural conduct, close friendships and global self-worth on the relationship between motor competence and identity health for the total sample (N = 160, 64.4% males, Mage = 14.45 SD = .75, 12 to 16 years). No indirect effects were significant for females however close friendships and global self-worth were significant for the males. When the sample was grouped for motor competence, indirect effects of social competence, athletic competence, physical appearance, behavioural conduct, and global self-worth were significant for the high motor competence (HMC) group. The only self-perception significant for the LMC group was close friendships. Conclusion Self-perceptions in several domains mediated the relationship between motor competence and identity health, and these differed for level of motor competence but not gender. Those with LMC who had a higher self-perception in the close friendships domain had a healthier identity. Designing physical activity programs that focus on skill development and forming close friendships are important for adolescents with LMC.
... Meuleman 2009;Schulz et al. 2010;Torney-Purta et al. 1999) and that are largely adult-constructed. They are therefore unlikely to be meaningful to students or to accurately reflect their attitudes (Tatlow-Golden and Guerin 2015). ...
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The ever-increasing presence of immigrants in Italian schools make these contexts important for the study of young peoples’ attitudes towards those who are new to a country. We analysed the metaphors regarding immigrants produced by a sample of 840 eighth-grade students. The results of a content analysis showed nine complex attitudes referring to different conceptual frames, such as adolescents’ perception of immigrants as part of a primary social group, as a source of possible wealth, as something troublesome or annoying, as a transient phenomenon that is unlikely to be integrated into society and various others. The results of a multinomial logistic regression indicated that boys have more feelings of annoyance as regard immigrants than girls. A higher socioeconomic background is associated with ambivalent attitudes toward immigrants (who are seen as being needy, as a resource but also as a threat). Possible behavioural implications of the adolescents’ views of minority social and cultural groups are discussed.
... Self-esteem can be understood as the positive or negative evaluations that one holds towards oneself (Marshall et al. 2014). Tatlow-Golden and Guerin (2017) argued that during adolescence, it is therefore important that parents should foster a balanced self-concept or self-esteem among girls in order for them to find meaning and perform better in many areas of their lives. However, research indicates that deficiency in attachment, parental support, warmth, affection and communication between adolescent females and their caregivers contribute towards impaired self-esteem and may leave majority adolescent females susceptible to early sexual debut, having multiple sexual partners and engaging in intergenerational relationships (Kemp et al. 2013;Kreppner and Lerner 2013;Trickett et al. 2011). ...
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This study reports on fifteen adolescent females aged between 15 and 19 years old, from Alice, Eastern Cape, South Africa, who experienced child sexual abuse. Guided by Antonovsky’s work of sense of coherence which entails how people manage stress, literature documented that adolescent females who experienced child sexual abuse perform poorly academically and have multiple sexual partners owing to low self- esteem. The aim of the study being to determine their challenges, snowball technique was employed to recruit the participants to share their experiences in a qualitative study which lasted for approximately one hour. The parents and school principal were approached for ethical purposes while the adolescent females agreed to participate voluntarily. Findings revealed that participants experienced some form of impaired self-worth, intimate partner violence, emotional and psychological effects. Given the results, collaborative approach amongst social workers, educators and community is vital to curb sexual abuse.
... This may be dependent on the changes in a female's motor proficiency from childhood through to adolescence (Barnett, van Beurden, Morgan, Brooks, & Beard, 2010). For example, many begin to place greater focus on developing close friendships rather than physical activities (Tatlow-Golden & Guerin, 2017). It is unclear from the results whether females have a more realistic view of their own ability, assess themselves more negatively compared to their male counterparts or males overrate their motor competence. ...
Article
An adolescent's motor skill competence can affect areas such as sports participation, social activities, and future academic or employment decisions. The Adolescent Motor Competence Questionnaire (AMCQ) is a 26-item questionnaire that uses a four-point Likert scale response (never, sometimes, frequently, always) to assess motor-related activities during adolescence. This study aims to provide evidence of the construct validity of the AMCQ using Principle Component Analysis (PCA) and to identify factors that contributed to Australian adolescent self-reported motor competence. A final aim was to determine whether individual item responses differed between males and females. The AMCQ was completed by 160 adolescents (12 to 16 years old, Mage = 14.45 years, SD = .75). The PCA using varimax rotation extracted four factors (Eiqenvalue of ≥ 1.21) explaining 52% of variance and representing Participation in Physical Activity and Sports, Activities of Daily Living, Public Performance, and Peer Comparison. Overall, males reported higher AMCQ scores compared to females. Females responded negatively (sometimes/never) to all items, particularly those on Physical Activity and Sports and Public Performance. Males who responded negatively had lower AMCQ scores than the females. These findings indicate male and female adolescents may judge their motor competence on different factors, which should be considered when planning physical activity interventions.
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While ample evidence supports an association between power and dominance, little is still known about how temporary experiences of power influence the way people come to see themselves and others. The present research investigates the effect of social power on self- and other-face recognition, and examines whether gender modulates the direction of this effect. Male and female participants were induced to feel either powerful or powerless and had to recognize their own face and those of same-sex strangers from a series of images ranging from a dominant to a submissive version of the original. Results showed that males more frequently chose a dominant self-image under high power, whereas females selected a submissive self-image under low power. When presented with faces of same-sex targets female participants relied on low-power features (i.e., submissiveness) of the self in the perception of others (assimilation effect), whereas male participants more often selected a dominant image of strangers when feeling powerless (constrast effect). The effects of power did not extend to more deliberate judgments of dominance and likability, suggesting that respective biases in face recollection operated at an implicit level. This research underscores the cognitive and motivational underpinnings of power and related gender gaps in power attainment.
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A new self-report instrument, the Perceived Competence Scale for Children, is described. Emphasis is placed on the assessment of a child's sense of competence across different domains, instead of viewing perceived competence as a unitary construct. 3 domains of competence, each constituting a separate subscale, were identified: (a) cognitive, (b) social, and (c) physical. A fourth subscale, general self-worth, independent of any particular skill domain, was included. A new question format was devised which provides a broader range of responses and reduces the tendency to give socially desirable responses. The psychometric properties of the scale are presented for third through ninth grades. Emphasis is placed on its factorial validity. Each subscale defines a separate factor, indicating that children make clear differentiations among these domains. The factor structure is extremely stable across this grade range. The scale is viewed as an alternative to those existing self-concept measures of questionable validity and reliability.
Article
This paper reviews the patterns and effects of early adolescents' involvement in the care of animals and the relationship between that experience and selected family and individual variables. It provides baseline data on early adolescents and animal involvement concerning: species of animals, family income, family relationships, parental views of animal raising, animal owner self-esteem and self-management, and the view of youth on the benefits of animal involvement.
Article
In the late 1980s and early 1990s a number of key writers within sociology and anthropology criticised much of the existing research on children within the social sciences as ‘adultist’. This has subsequently provoked attempts by academics to define new ways of working with, not on or for, children that have been characterised by a desire to define more mutuality between adult and children in research relationships and to identify new ways that researchers can engage with young people. This paper aims to address some of the ethical complexities that this work has generated by focusing on five areas of ethical concern in relation to research with children in the environments of home and school: consent; access and structures of compliance; privacy and confidentiality; methodologies and issues of power; and dissemination and advocacy. While most of these issues are not necessarily unique to working with children, but underlie many research projects, they are refracted in particular ways in child‐oriented research because of the unequal relationships of power between adults and children; the way that adults mediate access to children; the legal complexities of children's position as minors; and the particular nature of the environments—school and the parental home—in which researchers usually encounter young people.
Book
This book provides a review of self-concept measures that can be used with individuals across the life span, from preschool through late adulthood. These measures were selected . . . according to the prevalence of their use in research and practice, their psychometric soundness, the strength of their theoretical base, and their demonstrable utility in a variety of research and practice situations. . . . For each measure there is a description of the instrument, the target population, the scale structure, administration and scoring procedures, normative data, and related psychometric research, as well as an evaluative summary and source information. Byrne also provides a comprehensive review of the literature related to 7 empirically testable models of self-concept. Finally, the author identifies the most important psychometric issues related to measuring self-concept, describes the limitations associated with the current state of self-concept measurement, and points to promising directions for future research and application. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This analysis of the 12,266 responses to the three Self Description Questionnaires, which measure multiple dimensions of self-concept in preadolescence (H. W. Marsh, 1988), early-to-middle adolescence (H. W. Marsh, in press), and late adolescence and early adulthood (H. W. Marsh, in press), examined (a) age and sex effects during preadolescence to early adulthood and (b) alternative operationalizations of Shavelson, Hubner, and Stanton's (1976) proposal that self-concept becomes more differentiated with age. Responses to all three SDQ instruments were reliable and resulted in well-defined factor structures. Self-concept declined from early preadolescence to middle adolescence, then increased through early adulthood. Sex differences in specific areas of self-concept were generally consistent with sex stereotypes and relatively stable from preadolescence to early adulthood. There was little support for the increased differentiation of dimensions of self-concept beyond early preadolescence. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Tested the hypothesis that children would report that different social-network members provide different social provisions, using 199 5th–6th grade White children. Ss completed network of relationships inventories, which assessed 10 qualities of their relationships with mothers, fathers, siblings, grandparents, friends, and teachers. Consistent with R. S. Weiss's (1974) theory (i.e., that individuals seek specific social provisions or types of social support in their relationships with others), Ss reported seeking different provisions from different individuals. Mothers and fathers were turned to most often for affection, enhancement of worth, a sense of reliable aid, and instrumental aid. Next to parents, grandparents were turned to most often for affection and enhancement of worth, and teachers were turned to most often for instrumental aid. Friends were the greatest source of companionship, and friends and mothers received the highest ratings of intimacy. Ss also reported having more power in their relationships with other children than in those with adults. Conflict was perceived as occurring most often in sibling relationships. Ss were most satisfied with their relationships with mothers, and they thought their relationships with mothers and fathers were the most important. Bases for children's differentiations of their relationships and implications for understanding social networks are discussed. (19 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
A wide-range self-concept instrument was developed and administered to children in Grades 3, 6, and 10. Original scoring showed Grades 3 and 10 significantly higher in reported self-concept than Grade 6, but not significantly different from each other, although Grade 3 had a larger dispersion. No consistent sex differences were observed. Internal consistency and test-retest reliability coefficients were judged satisfactory enough to continue refinement of the instrument through item analysis. Correlations with IQ and achievement were positive but low. Institutionalized retarded girls reported significantly lower self-concept than did the public school sample. A factor analysis of the present 80-item scale on 457 Grade 6 children resulted in 6 clearly interpretable factors. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
considers how concepts of the self with family members and the self in family relationships relates to global self-concepts / [present] some of our basic assumptions about self-concepts, in general, and family self-concepts, in particular / examine the meaning of the family self-concept by using a social systems approach / explore how features of relationships are relevant for conceptualization of family self-concepts / theory and research concerning the mother–child, father–child, parent–child, sibling–child and family–child relationships are reviewed in regard to their significance for our definition of the family self-concept / [present] a heuristic model for describing the factors that we believe are important for understanding the significance of the family self-concept within, as well as across, particular developmental periods (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
There remains a flourishing interest in self esteem/self concept both in academic and clinical circles and popular literature. This paper elaborates various notions of the self and discusses the principles underpinning ways of measuring self esteem/self concept with children and adolescents. A review over the last 20 years indicates a raft of scales currently employed. The 14 most frequently cited are considered, with the top six measures and the latest British scale discussed in detail. The paper highlights issues and themes emerging from a comprehensive analysis of these scales, with a conclusion framed around assisting the reader to make an informed choice.
Article
Although it is well-established that drawing about an event increases the amount of verbal information that young children provide during an interview, it is unclear whether drawing continues to facilitate children's reports as they get older. In the present experiment, 90 children, ranging from 5- to 12-years old, were asked to draw and tell or to just tell about emotional events they had experienced. Children of all ages reported more information when asked to draw and tell rather than to tell only. Drawing had no negative effect on the accuracy of children's accounts. Drawing also increased the number of open-ended questions and minimal responses that interviewers used. We conclude that drawing may be a useful tool in clinical and forensic settings with children of all ages; it increases the amount of information that children report and the number of appropriate questions that interviewers ask. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Book
For more information, go to editor's website : http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?recid=25615 Excerpts available on Google Books.
Article
We examined the development of children's self- and task perceptions during the elementary school years. 865 first-, second-, and fourth-grade children (ages 7–10) completed questionnaires assessing their perceptions of competence in, and valuing of, activities in several activity domains (math, reading, sports, and instrumental music). Factor analyses showed that even the first graders had differentiated self-beliefs for the various activities. These analyses also indicated that children's competence beliefs and subjective task values formed distinct factors. Analyses assessing age and gender differences in children's beliefs showed that for all the activities except sports, younger children's (particularly the first graders) perceptions of competence and subjective task values were more positive than the beliefs of the older children. Boys had more positive competence beliefs and values than did girls for sport activities, and more positive competence beliefs for mathematics. Girls had more positive competence beliefs and values than did boys for reading and music activities.
Article
Associations between children's (N = 147) participation in structured leisure activities and their adjustment were examined. Caregivers provided lists of extracurricular activities (clubs, sports, and church activities) in which children participated. Children and caregivers participated in interviews and completed questionnaires designed to measure children's adjustment in four domains (academic competence, psychosocial development, externalizing behavior, and internalizing behavior). Classroom teachers completed additional measures of children's academic and social competence. Greater participation in club activities was linked with higher academic grades and more positive teacher ratings of academic competence. Greater participation in sports was associated with higher levels of psychosocial maturity and more positive teacher ratings of social competence. There were no associations between involvement in church activities and any indicators of adjustment. Activity involvement was unassociated with externalizing or internalizing behavior. Findings are discussed in terms of both selection into different types of extracurricular activities and the skills emphasized in the pursuit of such activities. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Comm Psychol 31: 641–659, 2003.
Article
Gender differences in physical self-concept among elementary- and secondary-school students were investigated. Physical self-concept was measured by the Physical Self-Description Questionnaire. The results indicated significantly higher physical self-concept in boys than in girls in eight subdomains, as well as global physical self-concept and self-esteem. Physical self-concept decreased with increasing age, and there was a significant age by gender interaction in the global physical, body fat, appearance, sports competence, and strength dimensions. Physical appearance was the subdomain that most strongly predicted global self-esteem. The present investigation demonstrated gender differences in multifaceted physical self-concept. Gender differences were large in the global physical, endurance, strength, appearance, and body fat-scales. In the health, flexibility, and coordination dimensions, gender differences were smaller.
Article
Although there has been a growing interest in research on bullying in the last decade the majority of studies have used definitions of bullying and victimisation derived from researchers' perceptions of the problem. The aim of the present study was to examine pupils' definitions of bullying in school. The participants were 166 pupils in the top two years in five primary schools in Ireland (two in urban areas and three in rural areas). There were 89 male and 77 female participants, with a modal age of 12 years. An interview was designed to elicit pupils' perceptions of the defining characteristics of bullying behaviour including (I) the behaviours described as bullying, (II) the importance of repetition, (III) the importance of intention, (IV) the effect on the victim, (V) the role of provocation and (VI) imbalance of power. The results suggest that repetition, intention, and a lack of provocation may not be central to pupils' definitions of bullying. These results indicate some differences between pupils and researchers on what constitutes the most important defining characteristics of bullying. This suggests that approaches to bullying intervention programmes may need to be reconsidered in light of these findings.
Chapter
Identifying the characteristics of optimal self-esteem requires asking, "For what?" What do we think optimal self-esteem leads to? What are we ultimately trying to achieve by having optimal self-esteem? For me, the aim is to be on the path of accomplishing our most cherished goals--goals that are both good for the self and good for others. This chapter discusses the following questions: Is high self-esteem optimal? Is low self-esteem optimal? What is the optimal contingency of self-esteem? How can people achieve optimal self-esteem? (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)