ERIC Number: ED332117
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Racial Differences in the Structure of Self-Esteem in Early Adolescence: An Attitudinal Approach to Measurement and Conceptualization.
This study examined distinctions between self-esteem as a general attitude of self and the underlying self-beliefs which link the self with a positively or negatively valued attribute. It was hypothesized that black adolescents would have higher scores on the general self-esteem measure, while they would not have have higher scores on all specific self-belief components. The overall self-esteem, as well as specific self-belief components were measured in a sample of 305 black and 338 white middle school students in two small southern towns. As expected, blacks had significantly higher scores on self-esteem. However, considerable differences emerged between the two groups on a few specific self-belief components. Greatest differences in favor of blacks pertained to self-beliefs about one's appearance and attractiveness, followed by beliefs about one's physical abilities and academic self-beliefs about reading. The reverse direction was present in relation to self-beliefs that reflected control of events. Smaller internal attributions, greater powerlessness, smaller attributions of success and failure to ability, and greater attributions of success or failure to chance and task difficulty among blacks were examples of these. Although the results provide some support for the hypothesis, the support is not as strong as suspected. There is a need for testing other explanations, such as the possibility of using different self-evaluative frames of reference by black and white adolescents. (Author/LLL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 3-7, 1991).