Thesis

The development of the self concept in childhood

The purpose of this project is to provide an overview of the development of the self-concept in children, with suggestions for parents, teachers, and counselors on how to enhance children's self-concept. The development of the self-concept in children is researched, beginning with various theories of the personality. Psychoanalytic, cognitive, social-psychological, phenomenological, and social learning theories are summarized. The review of the empirical literature focused on the development of the self-concept as it related to scholastic achievement, family and peer group influences, and adjustment in childhood. Academic achievement and the self-concept correlated positively specifically for the self-concept subscale of scholastic ability. The attitudes of teachers in maintaining a safe environment in the classroom plays a significant role, as does the parental attitudes in the home, of enhancing positive self-concepts. Peer group also has a strong influence on the posture of the self-concept. The relationship of the self-concept to adjustment is frequently inferred in material but only rarely were direct references found (See more in text.)

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