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Women with Low Self-Esteem – Psychology Research Paper

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Updated: Jun 29th, 2020

In the long history of relationships between men and women, personalities have been playing a great part in the way in which these relationships are structured. Since the temper is shaped in early childhood, it is crucial to consider the specifics of the upbringing of both partners to understand whether future relationships are going to be a success or a disaster. It can be considered that among the women with low self-esteem, the tendencies towards having higher expectations, the lack of emotional stability and communication and instability in relationships lead to the necessity to have a break-up based on the assumption that their partner has been cheating.

The given research is going to be based on the works written by Bowlby and Ainsworth. Despite the fact that the given study is focused on the effects of separation on the women formerly engaged into relationships, it will still be necessary to consider certain issues concerning childhood; however, in the given research, it is the childhood of the women with low self-esteem that is going to be analyzed. Another important theoretical foil for the given study is provided by Mary Ainsworth and her interpretation of attachment theory. It is essential to note that she added considerably to the theory and expanding on the infant-mother relationships as the key factor in forming attachment (Bretherton, 1994, 684). And, since the mother-infant relationships are the first ones that a child forms, it can be considered that Ainsworth provided the basis for the attachment theory to develop, which is essential for the given research.

According to Bowlby’s theory, the tendency to form a strong attachment to the person whom a woman with low self-esteem indicates as her love interest is shaped at the earliest stages of development, i.e., in early childhood. Stretching the idea that Bowlby offered to show how an attachment is formed at the early stage of a child’s development with the help of Darwin’s theory to explain how the relationships between a grown-up man and woman work, Guidice and Belsky provide an extensive theoretical background for the research: “Although only adult couple relationships involve sexual attraction and reciprocity, the crucial question is whether they also involve an attachment component” (Guidice & Belsky, 2010, 112).

However, according to Brandell (2010), the theory offered by Bowlby could use some improvements in the light of other psychoanalytic developmental theories that have been spawned later on. While one has to give credit to Bowlby’s empiricism (Stevenson-Hinde, 2007, 339), it must be admitted that at present, the idea of attachment should be expanded. Apart from other studies that the given research is going to encompass, such projects as the Uganda study and the Baltimore study are going to be used. The Uganda study will help classify the reaction of women with low self-esteem towards parting according to the classification of the relationships between a mother and a child provided by Ainsworth, i.e., avoidant, secure and resistant (van Ijzendoorn & Sagi-Schwarz, 2008). Finally, the famous Baltimore study is going to be a major help in conducting the research on the effects that divorces have on women with low self-esteem.

Conducted in a German middle-class setting (Grossman, Grossman & Kindler, 2005), the given paper allows to consider a specific case and therefore, see how the attachment theory works in practice. With the help of the given two theories, it will be possible to drive parallels between the behavioral patterns adopted from the earliest childhood, and the effects that the given patterns have on the women with low self-esteem and their interpretation of the female role in the relationships. In addition, it will be possible to consider the ways to change the patterns to a more comfortable attitude towards relationships development. On the one hand, it could be argued that other important factors should be considered when analyzing the development of relationships between a couple, including their financial status, age gap, family/social/cultural background, etc.

However, it should also be taken into account that in women with low-self esteem, one can expect the feeling of guilt and even the tendency to take the blame for the occurring conflicts instead of working on a compromise, as well as questioning the faithfulness of her partner and believing that she is not attractive enough for him not to have affairs with other women. Though it will be a mistake to claim that women with low self-esteem are less rational than the ones with normal or high self-esteem, it can be still expected that such women ruin their own chances to build strong relationships.

Therefore, it is crucial to figure out what exactly the reasons for a downgrade in the relationships between women with low self-esteem and men are, and to offer adequate solutions to the problems that the specified type of women has. With the help of the analysis of behavioral patterns learned in early childhood, one can possibly define the cause of the problem and come up with the ways to prevent it.

In fact, there have been a number of past researches concerning the ways in which women with low self-esteem build their relationships with men. In addition, there is a plethora of information concerning women’s reaction towards the separation process and the following possible depression. Drawing parallels between the given two types of studies will make it possible to come to certain conclusions about the women with low self-esteem and their manner of handling the post-separation depression.

Apart from the above-mentioned studies, other related researches will be considered. For example, Morton, Roach, Ried & Stewart (2012) offer an extensive description of the problems that women with low self-esteem typically face, as well as show the specifics of their temper. In their turn, Lormore, Spencer & Holmes (2007) allow evaluating the effects of female low self-esteem in the relationships between men and women in general. Finally, the link between low self-esteem in women and the urge to build unstable relationships that will ultimately resolve in a breakup must be made, which the research conducted by Nunez (1999) contributes to. Though the researcher does not provide research solely on the women with low self-esteem, she still makes a connection between self-esteem and the effects of a breakup, which is rather impressive and very helpful for the given study.

Speaking of the niche that the given research is going to take, it is noteworthy that the recent studies on the given issue concerned the effect of unstable relationships between a couple on children and the way this effect will shape the children’s behavior and future social and personal life (Ackerman, Griskevicius & Li, 2011). While the given issue is important, and its researchers should be given credit for considering the problem from various angles, no one has yet studied the effects of breakup on women with low self-esteem. While it is important to study the reactions of children towards their parents’ divorce, it is necessary to keep in mind that women with low self-esteem are just as vulnerable.

Therefore, it is important to realize what makes women with low self-esteem be the destructors of their own relationships. It is necessary to emphasize that the given research opens a new page in the study of the effects that low self-esteem has on relationships. Over the past few decades, the researches in breakups, divorces and other forms of interruption of relationships have had a tendency of focusing on children. (Averdjik, Eisner & Ribeaud, 2012). The reason for the researchers to focus mostly on children and their reaction towards their parents’ separation, probably, stems from the idea that adults already have their behavioral patterns and life experience and, therefore, are more resilient towards stress, unlike children, who only learn to cope with their emotional state.

However, the given statement is far from the truth than one might want it to be; after long relationships and with low self-esteem, it is very hard to work on enveloping a new attitude and behavioral patterns, convincing oneself that a breakup or a conflict comes as a result of making a wrong step. That said, it is necessary to admit that the given study breaks new grounds in the research of the relation between female low self-esteem and relationships development.

Therefore, the research question that is going to be answered in the given paper is what effects low self-esteem has on women and their relationships with the opposite sex.

Consequently, the hypothesis for the given paper is that women with low self-esteem tend to accuse their partners of cheating so that such women could convince themselves in their unattractiveness once more.

Reference List

Ackerman, J. M., Griskevicius, V., & Li, N. P. (2011). Let’s get serious: Communicating commitment in romantic relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100(6), 1079–1094. Web.

Averdjik, M. M.., Eisner, T., & Ribeaud, D. (2012). Parental separation and child aggressive and internalizing behavior: An event history calendar analysis. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 43(2), 184–200. Web.

Brandell J. R. (2010). Contemporary psychoanalytic perspectives on attachment. Psychoanalytic Social Work, 17(2), 132–157. Web.

Bretherton, I. (1994). The origins of attachment theory: John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth. A Century of Developmental Psychology, Parke et al. (Ed.) Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Web.

Grossman, K., Grossman, K. E., & Kindler, H. (2005). Early care and the roots of attachment and partnership representations: The Bielefield and Resenburg longitudinal studies. Attachment from Infancy to Adulthood: The Major Longitudinal Studies. Grossman, K. E. (Ed.).New York, NY: Guilford Publications. 98–136. Web.

Guidice, M. D. & Belsky, J. (2010). Evolving attachment theory: Beyond Bowlby and back to Darwin. Society for Research in Child Development, 4(2), 112–113. Web.

Ijzendoorn, van M. H. & Sagi-Schwarz, A. (2008). Cross-cultural patterns of attachment: Universal and contextual dimensions. Handbook of Attachment, Cassidy, Jude (ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Press. 880–905. Web.

Lormore, C. D., Spencer, S. J., & Holmes, J. G. (2007). The role of shared-values affirmation in enhancing the feelings of low self-esteem women about their relationships. Self and Identity, 6(4), 340–360. Web.

Morton, L., Roach, L., Ried, H. & Stewart, S. H. (2012). An evaluation of CBT group for women with low self-esteem. Behavioral and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 40(2), 221–225. Web.

Nunez, M. (1999). Adjustment to divorce in women: Self-esteem and locus of control. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Science and Engineering, 60(5-B), 2357. Web.

Stevenson-Hinde, J. (2007). Attachment theory and John Bowlby: Some reflections. Attachment and Human development, 9(4), 337–342. Web.

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