Sunday, June 10, 2012

Too Much Self Esteem is a Bad Thing

Entitlement. This word seems to be the main concept in the minds of young teens in this country these days.More and more we see how young teens are given new cars, designer clothes, i phones, and other novelty items. Even shows, like MTV's Sweet 16, shows young teenagers given lavish parties and gifts given to them by their parents, only boosting their self esteem and reputation. In chapter 9 of our Motivation text book the topic of self esteem was discussed. My previous knowledge about self esteem usually relates back to the idea of teenagers struggling with low self esteem. However, after doing some research I noticed that more and more studies are being conducted based on the fact the self esteem has been increasing in teenagers throughout the country. I found this to be quite interesting, and after thinking about it I completely agree. I have a younger sister who is about to be a senior in high school and she has the highest self esteem out of anyone of my friends or family members. It almost as if we told her how beautiful she is and how much we love her so much, that she internalized that into a narcissistic level of high self esteem. Even the stories I hear about her teenage friends would shock you! One of her friends even told her parents that if they were buying her a car made after the year of 2011, for her birthday, not to bother because she wouldn't be caught dead driving something so old. So what did the girls parents do? They bought her a brand new 2012 sedan. This made me wonder how the feeling of entitlement and high self esteem go hand in hand. Some who research the psychology of teens have concluded that the trend of instilling a high self esteem, born of good intentions in the Age of Aquarius, has had toxic effects.

Research done by Brittany Gentile, a psychology graduate student at the University of Georgia, found that between 1988 and 2006, the average junior high student's score on the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (a questionnaire that asks whether respondents agree with such statements as "On the whole, I am satisfied with myself") jumped nearly four points on a 40-point scale. The average score for a high school student went up almost two points during a similar span. I firmly belive this is due to the fact that many teens feel entitled to the things they want and the things their parents have provided for them. More and more I come to find that teens, I have interaction with, believe that they are on top of the world and nothing can hurt or touch them. It's not to say that having a high self esteem can necessarily mean that the teen is spoiled, yet it seems to be the case most of the time.

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