The Influence of Self-Esteem on Academic Performance Among High School Students
The purpose of this study was to determine whether there is a difference in academic performance between students who have high self-esteem and students who have poor self-esteem. For this study, a descriptive research design of the survey type was used.
study. The participants in this study were all students enrolled in public secondary schools in the state of Ondo. This is an example
The group comprised of 240 kids from six different schools who were chosen at random. A questionnaire titled “Academic Performance” was distributed.
The data was gathered through the use of a questionnaire. Face and content validity were ensured by the use of expert judgments. The reliability was determined using the test-and-retest method, and a reliability coefficient of 0.72 was achieved. Conclusions Data
The data was analyzed with the use of the t-test. The findings revealed that there is a statistically significant difference in academic performance.
Pupils with strong self-esteem outperformed students with low self-esteem in terms of academic performance. It is possible to draw a conclusion from the
As a result, pupils who have high self-esteem outperform those who have poor self-esteem in terms of schoolwork. It
It was suggested that parents should assist their children in developing a positive self-image of themselves. They should, as well.
Parents should refrain from criticizing their children or engaging in activities that can undermine their self-esteem.
I. Greetings and Introduction
William James, who lived in the late nineteenth century, is credited with developing the concept of self-esteem. In his writing, he uses the phrase
„Psychological Principles,“ as the title suggests. James (1890) investigated the division of our “global self” into two parts: the “knower self” and the “knowing self.”
self”. According to him, self-esteem is derived from the self, which we are all aware of to a greater or lesser extent.
During the first half of the twentieth century, the first influence of behaviorism reduced the importance of introspective studies of mental health.
The subjective study of processes, emotions, and feelings was superseded by an objective examination of behavior through experiments.
noticed in connection to the surrounding environment Consequently, scientific investigation of self-esteem was neglected (Bonet, 2000).
1997). Bonet went on to remark that by the mid-20th century, phenomenology and humanistic psychotherapy had gained traction in the West.
made self-esteem prominent once more, and it played a crucial role in personal self-actualization and in the development of society
Psychological illnesses are treated in this way. Psychologists began to explore the relationship between personal satisfaction and psychotherapy, and
It was discovered that additional aspects had been incorporated that assisted in better understanding the reasons why people tend to feel less worthy.
frustrated and unable to comprehend the difficulties they face alone
Carl Rogers (1902 – 1987), a great exponent of humanistic psychology, revealed his idea regarding the nature of human consciousness.
As the most effective method of improving self-esteem, unconditional acceptance and self-acceptance are recommended. In accordance with Wikipedia
According to the American Psychological Association (2013), self-esteem is a collection of an individual’s sentiments toward himself. The human being has the ability to perceive
sensory level; he thinks about himself and about his behavior, and he judges both his own behavior and the behavior of others.
himself. As a result, persons experience emotions that are personal to them. These feelings lead to behavioural changes.
Tendencies directed at oneself, one’s behavior, and the physical and psychological characteristics of one’s body and character These
Tendencies have an impact on the attitudes that we refer to as “self-esteem” in general.
According to Judge, Locke, and Durham (1997), the core self-evaluations approach includes self-esteem as one of the components.
one of four dimensions that make up one’s fundamental appraisal of oneself, along with locus of control, is one’s sense of one’s own worth.
Neuroticism and self-efficacy are two different concepts. They went on to claim that the concept of core self-evaluations has now been demonstrated to be effective.
the ability to forecast various work outcomes, including job performance, is essential. It is possible that low self-esteem is a factor.
one of the most important basic self-evaluation factors since it represents the total sense of worth that one has of oneself
as a human being (Judge, Locke, Durham and Kluger, 1998).
The concept of the importance of self-esteem, particularly in education, has gained popularity in the United States.
endorsement from some government and non-government organizations, to the point where one might speak of a boost in one’s self-esteem
the act of moving (Nolan, 1998). Self-esteem is a disposition that a person possesses that indicates his or her assessment of oneself.
own deservingness (Olsen, Breckler and Wiggins, 2008). According to Branden (1969), self-esteem is the result of an event.
of being capable of dealing with the most basic obstacles in one’s life He also stated that self-esteem is the sum of two components: selfconfidence (a sense of one’s own abilities) and self-respect (a feeling of personal worth).
Some writers use the phrases “self-concept” and “self-esteem” interchangeably when referring to the self. They are closely related, but they are not the same.
They do, in fact, have different meanings. The construction of one’s own self-concept is a cognitive endeavor that necessitates self-evaluation.
and can be distinguished across a variety of activities; but self-esteem is an affective act that encompasses the value of one’s own self.
or the value we place on our own self-assessments. When compared to self-concept, self-esteem is believed to be more changeable. It
The Relationship Between Self-Esteem and Academic Performance Among Secondary School Students
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is concerned with how a person perceives his or her own personal strengths and flaws. Our sense of self-worth is derived from our
While high self esteem is the result of positive evaluations of our abilities, low self esteem is the result of negative evaluations of our abilities when it comes to the things we love.
Individuals tend to concentrate on their flaws.
Many people intuitively understand the significance of self-esteem since they are self-aware and self-reflective beings. Not unexpectedly, a large lot of psychological theory has concentrated on the urge to protect and, if necessary, the consequences of failing to protect.
if at all feasible, raise one’s self-esteem According to study, even psychodynamic defense strategies, such as those developed by Sigmund Freud, are ineffective.
Originally conceived as means of keeping potentially dangerous sexual and aggressive impulses at bay, they now function as strategies.
in order to increase one’s self-esteem (Baumelster, Dale and Sommer, 1998).
In the Oxford English Dictionary, there is a word called “floccinaucinihilipilification,” which is reputedly the longest word in the dictionary.
Dictionary defines snobbery as “the act or practice of considering something to be worthless.” Low self-esteem is defined as follows:
entails making a derogatory or low-self-worth judgment about one’s own character.
The concept of self-esteem has become commonplace. Teachers, parents, therapists, and others have concentrated their efforts.
On the notion that having a high sense of self will lead to a variety of desirable consequences, efforts are being made to raise self-esteem.
benefits – particularly in terms of high academic performance at school Numerous research have discovered that self-esteem is important.
Academic achievement is inversely proportional to the number of hours worked. Hansford and Hattie (1982) conducted a meta-analysis involving 128 papers in total.
more than 200,000 people took part in the event These studies looked at a range of self-esteem measures as well as a variety of other variables.
There were a number of objective performance indicators used, the majority of which were achievement tests. The relationships that have been reported
The range of values ranged from –. 77 to +. 96, with an average value between +. 21 and +. 26. Hansford and Hattie are two of the most lovable people in the planet (1982)
Overall, the researchers found a statistically significant positive link between self-esteem and academic achievement.
performance, with self-esteem accounting for between 4 and 7% of the variance in academic performance.
An early study by Bachman and O‟malley (1977) used data from a nationwide longitudinal study that
tracked more than 1,600 young men from 1966, when they were in 10th grade, up through 1974. All participants
in this study completed a modified version of the Rosenberg (1965) self-esteem scale at several points during
this period. Bachman and O‟malley found that self-esteem correlated with school performance. another study
was conducted by Maruyana, Rubin and Kingsbury (1981). This study focused on a much younger age.
Maruyana et al followed a final sample of more than 700 students from age 4 to age 5. Achievement was
measured using academic achievement tests, including the Stanford achievement test and later, the wide range
achievement test, which emphasizes spelling, vocabulary and arithmetic. They also found that self esteem and
academic achievement are correlated. on their own part, using standard achievement tests, Davies and Brember
(1999) found significant positive relationship between self-esteem and academic performance in a large sample
of 3001 British respondents. These results give foothold to the credence that self-esteem is gaining.
Statement of the Problem
The self-esteem movement has been especially influential in American schools, and part of the reason
for this is the assumption that raising self-esteem will lead to improvements in children‟s academic
There has been growing concern about the poor academic performance of students in our schools in
Nigeria. All possible avenues for solution are being explored. The researchers wanted to ascertain whether high
self-esteem is in fact a cause of positive or negative outcomes in Nigeria. To this end, the following hypothesis
There is no significant difference between academic performance of students with high self-esteem and
students with low self-esteem.
The researchers used descriptive research design of survey type. The plan of study involved the use of
questionnaire to collect data in order to test the hypothesis generated in the study. The target population for this
study was made up of public secondary school students in Ondo state Nigeria who were in Senior Secondary
School one. This class of students was chosen because the students faced a uniform examination throughout the
whole state at end of previous session, that is at the end of their Junior Secondary School three. Their results in
this examination were used to measure academic performance.
Stratified random sampling was used to draw out the sample. Three schools were chosen randomly
from urban areas and three schools were also randomly chosen from rural areas. In each school, 40 students of
both sexes were selected, making a total of 240 students.
A self-designed questionnaire called „Academic Performance Questionnaire‟(APQ) was used for the
study. Part A was designed to collect information on background characteristics of respondents. Part B consisted
27 items on environmental and psychological factors including self-esteem.
Influence Of Self-Esteem On Academic Performance Among Secondary School Students
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The methods used in validating the instrument were face and content validity. Experts judgements were
used to determine both. A reliability test was also carried out on 20 Senior Secondary School one students who
were not part of the sample. The scores obtained from two administrations of the questionnaire at two weeks
interval were correlated by using Pearson Product Moment Correlation. A reliability coefficient of 0.72 was
obtained. The instrument was found to be suitable for data collection.
Copies of the questionnaire were distributed by the researchers and school counsellors to a sample of
240 students in six schools. Researchers‟ presence during administration enhanced better understanding of the
items in the instrument. Copies of the questionnaire were collected back immediately after completion by the
The results of the external and uniform Junior Secondary School Certificate Examination were
collected from the principals of the schools. These were used to measure the academic performance of the
The data generated were analysed using t-test. The hypothesis was tested at 0.05 level of significance.
Testing of Hypothesis
There is no significant difference between academic performance of students with high self – esteem
and students with low self – esteem.
In testing this hypothesis, the mean total score and standard error obtained on academic performance of
students with high self – esteem and students with low self-esteem were subjected to t-test analysis at 0.05 level
The t-test showing the academic performance of students with high and low self-esteem.
Group N Mean sd df tcal ttable
High self-esteem 79 2.2321 1.40927
Low self-esteem 161 2.7236 1.39183 238 2.560 1.960
p < 0.05
The table shows that the mean score of respondents with high self-esteem is 2.2321 with standard
deviation of 1.40927 while the mean total score of respondents with low self-esteem is 2.7236 with standard
deviation of 1.39183. The t-calculated is 2.560 while the table value is 1.960. The t-calculated is greater than ttable. The null hypothesis is rejected. This implies that there is significant difference between academic
performance of students with high self-esteem and students with low self-esteem.
There are plausible reasons for thinking that high self-esteem will lead to good schoolwork, while low
self-esteem will lead to poor academic performance. People with high self-esteem may set higher aspirations
than people with low self-esteem. They may be more willing to persist in the face of initial failure and less likely
to succumb to paralyzing feelings of incompetence and self doubt. This result is in line with the findings of
Bachman and O‟malley (1977), Maruyana, Rubin and Kingsbury (1981), Hansford and Hattie (1982) and
Davies and Brember (1999) which stated that self-esteem is positively correlated with academic performance.
Learning, by definition, involves acquiring information and skills that one does not initially have, and
high esteem may help prevent the recognition of one‟s initial incapability from producing a sense that the cause
is hopeless. high self-esteem may foster the confidence to tackle difficult problems and enable people to derive
satisfaction from progress and success.
III. Conclusion and Recommendation
Evidence from the study has led the researchers to conclude that students with high self-esteem
perform better in school work than students with low self-esteem.
In view of this, it is recommended that parents should build up the self-esteem of their children. They
should help their children to see themselves in positive light. Parents should desist from belittling their children
and doing things that can deflate their self-esteem.
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