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Self-Esteem and Students’ Health Essay

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Updated: Dec 8th, 2019


It has been acknowledged that self-esteem plays an important role in people’s development. More so, life satisfaction is closely connected with the concept of self-esteem, and mental health also depends on proper development of self-esteem.

Admittedly, academic performance also correlates with self-esteem development. Researchers note that low self-esteem during years at school negatively influences people in future creating risks of mental disorders development (Yamawaki et al., 2011).

Hence, it is important to help young people develop positive self-esteem which will lead to proper mental health development in future. To achieve this goal, it is important to understand that self-esteem development correlates with mental development and life satisfaction.

It is also necessary to remember that a number of factors (including environment, socioeconomic status of the family, physical and psychological features, health problems, etc.) influence development of self-esteem in young people.

An Overview of the Determinant

The concept of self-esteem has acquired a lot of attention recently. People have acknowledged the importance of positive self-esteem development. As has been mentioned above, self-esteem is one of the most important determinants that influence young people’s mental development.

Self-esteem is often referred to as a “judgment” that reveals “how a person values him/herself” (as cited in Izgiç et al., 2004, p. 630). Now researchers as well as educators, parents and even students understand the importance of positive self-esteem.

Thus, researchers note that “poor health behaviors [sic.] are so prevalent” due to such factors as “the increased availability of unhealthy food and a culture of television” as well as development of low self-esteem in young people (Huntsinger & Luecken, 2004, p. 524).

However, not all of the stakeholders clearly understand how positive self-esteem can be developed and what factors influence its development. Many young people face a lot of problems associated with low self-esteem (such as anxiety, depression, or even severe psychological disorders).

Literature Review

Researchers agree that self-esteem positively influences people’s development as it positively correlates with life satisfaction (Arslan et al., 2010).

Apart from this, research suggests that positive self-esteem may even diminish negative effects of poor health behaviours acquired in early childhood (Huntsinger & Luecken, 2004). Admittedly, proper health behaviours are crucial for students.

Thus, Mitchell et al. (2008) note that Australian students are now overwhelmed by a variety of tasks they are given at university. Students have to handle a number of projects at a time, which can be quite challenging.

Some students find it very difficult to keep up with the rest of the group. Young people are also bombarded by vast amounts of information coming from different sources (TV, the Internet, community, peers, etc.).

This negatively affects their mental well-being as it causes frustration, anxiety, depression, etc. Yamawaki et al. (2011) claim that low self-esteem (along with environmental factors) contributes to development of severe mental disorders.

Huntsinger and Luecken (2004) claim that proper interaction with family members and favourable atmosphere in the family contributes greatly to the development of high self-esteem.

Proper physical development and proper health behaviour (exercise, healthy eating, etc.) positively affect self-esteem development. As for factors that negatively affect self-esteem development, researchers name personal psychological peculiarities and unfavourable environment.

Thus, students characterised by low health locus of control often have low self-esteem (Moshki & Ashtarian, 2010). Izgiç et al. (2004) state that students with social phobia often develop low self-esteem.

The researchers stress that it is important to pay special attention to these students’ peculiarities and help them cope with their problems as low self-esteem can lead to development of other psychological disorders.


On balance, it is necessary to note that self-esteem has been regarded as one of the most important determinants of young people’s development.

Recent research shows that self-esteem affects academic performance of students and influences further health behaviour development in young people. Positive self-esteem correlates with development of life satisfaction. This, in its turn, contributes to proper personal development of individuals.

It has been acknowledged that a number of factors affect development of self-esteem. In the first place, individual psychological peculiarities contribute to development of self-esteem. Another potent factor that influences self-esteem development is environment.

In other words, relationships with relatives and peers as well as educators and other people affect development of self-esteem. As has been mentioned above, it is crucial to help young people develop positive self-esteem as it can be crucial for their further development.

When working with students with low self-esteem, it is important to take into account such factors as individual psychological peculiarities (features of character) of the student, socioeconomic peculiarities and his/her relationships with other people.

Now people understand the importance of such kind of assistance. However, further research in this field is necessary as it is important to work out particular techniques aimed at development of positive self-esteem in young people.

Researchers need to come up with ideas how to address each factor that affects self-esteem development. These techniques will help young people fit the rapidly changing world with its overwhelming challenges.

Reference List

Arslan, C., Hamarta, E., & Uslu, M. (2010). The relationship between conflict communication, self-esteem and life satisfaction in university students. Educational Research and Reviews, 5(1), 31-34.

Huntsinger, E.T. & Luecken, L.J. (2004). Attachment relationships and health behavior: The meditational role of self-esteem. Psychology and Health, 19(4), 515-526.

Izgiç, F., Akyuz, G., Dogan, O. & Kugu, N. (2004). Social phobia among university students and its relation to self-esteem and body image. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 49(9), 630-634.

Mitchell, J., Maher, J.M. & Brown, K. (2008). Keeping up and keeping it together: Tertiary arts students managing health, family and self esteem. Issues in Educational Research, 18(1), 44-59.

Moshki, M. & Ashtarian, H. (2010). Perceived health locus of control, self-esteem, and its relations to psychological well-being status in Iranian students. Iranian Journal of Public Health, 39(4), 70-77.

Yamawaki, N., Nelson, J.A.P. & Omori, M. (2011). Self-esteem and life satisfaction as mediators between parental bonding and psychological well-being in Japanese young adults. International Journal of Psychology and Counselling, 3(1), 1-8.

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