Twenty-three percent of girls between the ages of 10 and 14 are dieting according to a 2001 study done by the Canadian Medical Journal, found here http://www.cmaj.ca/content/170/10/1559.full It is no new news to anyone that teenage girls, and women in general have issues with their self perceptions. What about men and teenage boys though? I wanted to research college students and their self-perceptions and if they had any correlation to the support their parents gave them. Remember that old saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”? I think that words are what hurt us the most. Words cut deep into our minds and hearts; one sentence can have effects for years to come. Words can be our greatest pick up or the thing to tear us down. Words don’t always have to be spoken either, the note you write in class about someone that accidentally gets found or the conversation online that no one else was supposed to see, these words are just as hurtful. As it is often said, the pen is mightier than the sword. The girls in the study above have no idea the harm they are causing their body and all because someone used their words as a weapon.
I combined definitions of self confidence from many different sources including: dictionary.com (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/self-confidence), Webster’s Dictionary (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/self%20confidence) and the Oxford English Dictionary (http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/self-confidence?region=us&q=self-confidence). I then looked into whether certain types of parenting styles had an effect on the child’s self confidence level, in the psychology study published in Personality and Individual Difference, http://ehis.ebscohost.com.libproxy.chapman.edu/eds/detail?vid=2&hid=2&sid=155056bf-9348-4fe5-8a440c25a55533f1%40sessionmgr12&bdata=JkF1dGhUeXBlPWlwLHVpZCZzaXRlPWVkcy1saXZl#db=edselp&AN=S0191886905003612, the importance of different parenting styles is found because having only one can cause self confidence issues and lead to self handicapping behaviors. These really helped me start to think of where I wanted to take my research. I looked for research on the effects of conditional praise and found that this is very detrimental to the students self confidence. The article was published in the Journal of Adolescence, http://ehis.ebscohost.com.libproxy.chapman.edu/eds/detail?vid=2&hid=2&sid=eb86395e-841a-42a9-9550-8b107299e53e%40sessionmgr14&bdata=JkF1dGhUeXBlPWlwLHVpZCZzaXRlPWVkcy1saXZl#db=edselp&AN=S0140197111001278,Children should be loved no matter what, and praised even if they aren’t the best. This research is really where I began to look into my own research from. Do college students still feel the effects of this after they leave the house or do things begin to get better?
My research looks into the college life style and how the students feel about how their parents support their majors, life goals, and decisions. I want to know how the students feel they supported. The vast majority the students I sampled had support from their parents yet still had self-confidence issues. These students saw themselves as “not good enough” or “always trying to live up to standards they couldn’t achieve” Another grouping that I saw in my research was that students that never had support from their parents had very low self-esteem “not being enough” or “not being prepared” “not feeling worth anything.” There were two other groups that I saw in my data but they were much less frequent then the first two. This was the third most common scenario; the students had supportive parents and were very self-confident. These students felt “able to finish” what they had started, “secure in who I am”. The final and least common group was those that had little parental support but were still self-confident. These students felt like they couldn’t live up to the standards of the parents anyways, so they were going to be themselves. My research is flawed and is not nearly a large enough sample of the population to transfer and make an accurate assessment. I only had 11 males take the survey out of my 57 participants. If I had a more even number I would be able to negate the gender differences that happen between the two. I feel like making an assumption about all males or the majority or males would/ could be very off.
What if people are just scared to do anything other then sit on the couch? What if they are just scared to fail?