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Self-Worth Theory


Self-esteem is how you feel about yourself. Self-worth is what you are born with. Self-worth is the value of an individual that can never be taken, however, a person can lose sight of their self-worth if that individual let their fear, anger or regret interfere. There are people that have a high sense of self-worth and other people are able to sense this because these particular individuals display their self-confidence. These individuals excel in school and are looked at in a positive way by their peers. Their self-esteem was instilled in them from birth. Their parents did not criticize them but congratulated them often, even when they did not do as great as the parent believed they could. They were still rewarded. They dressed nicely and was never teased in school. However, there are those students who were not praised by their parents or lifted up when they made a little stumble. Their low self-esteem probably came from being teased in school about the clothes they wore or the grades they made and in return caused their self-worth to diminish before it was even able to build.


The self-worth theory states that certain students, known as self-work protective students, will voluntarily withdraw effort in achievement situations in which poor performance is likely to be attributed to low ability. These types of students will participate in situations, where if they fail that persons ability to achieve is directly linked to their perceptions of themselves. An excuse can be made up for their failure and this excuse usually has nothing to do with their ability to accomplish the task set forth. Self-worth protective students perform well following failure that allows a face-saving opportunity but perform poorly following failure that does not allow face-saving. A student’s perception of his or herself can be developed and strengthened through counseling, encouragement and other support services. These students, through support, would be able to take responsibility of their choices and decision and still be able to maintain a high sense of self-worth. A test conducted among 10th graders in Taiwan proved this to be true.

A study was conducted among 43 10th grade low-achieving students and another set of 51 low-achieving students in Taiwan. These students volunteered to this study and it lasted for 24 weeks. The 51 students that volunteered for the study was classified as the first comparison group of low-achieving students. The 51 students were compared to an additional 43 10th high academic achieving students. “All participants completed the Vocational School Student Questionnaire at the beginning and end of this study to measure their self-worth or self-efficacy.

The findings of the study concluded that the first set of 43 10th grade low-achieving students scored higher in the areas of self-worth than the set of 51 10th grade low-achieving students and the 43 10th grade students that were high academic achievers. The 43 10th grade low-achieving students during the 24 week study received functional group counseling. Functional group counseling is a program designed to be of use with juveniles who find themselves in the court system due to crimes committed. This type of counseling is usually conducted among juveniles with their family members, but in this study the counseling was conducted with just 10th grade students with the presence of adult family members. The 43 10th grade low-achieving students showed to be significantly affected by the counseling.


It is practically impossible for a child, teenager or adult to invoke his or her own self-esteem, thus creating a high sense of self-worth. It requires encouragement, self-motivation, family and peer support. There are teachers in schools that do not provided positive feedback for students who are not doing so well in the classroom.Teachers are often afraid to say anything negative to students about their performance because they believe it will hurt the student’s self-esteem. Teachers will, however, reward those students who are doing well in the classroom and make those who did not feel left out. Everyone will encounter a mental, physical, personal or social experience that will have some effect on the identity. A person’s identity is a sense of placement in society which leads an individual to his or her own self-worth. This is why it is important for an individual to realize his or her own value. Even if this means posting positive statements in the mirror to be viewed before going off to school. This way when mistakes are made an individual will know how to get back up on his or her feet and face the problem or challenge that is front of him or her and conqueror it. More importantly, there has to be a support system whether it is a teacher, parent or other community figure.


Shakka James (author) from Dallas, TX on July 02, 2015:

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Muris on December 28, 2014:

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savvyedge from California on January 18, 2013:

found this article to be so true, after reading it i noticed it home in some of the issues.

lbback4u on January 01, 2013:

thank u for opening my eyes again!.

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