Self esteem and its relationship with academic self-efficacy beliefs and perceived stress in adolescents

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Creaby, Jennifer
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BA (Hons) in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The aim of this study was to investigate self-esteem and its’ relationship with academic self-efficacy, beliefs and perceived stress levels in adolescents. Data from 113 fifth year secondary school students (male=65, female=48) were used in this correlational study which required each participant to complete three questionnaires: The Self-Efficacy Questionnaire for Children (SEQ-C) (Muris, 2002), The Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) (Cohen et al, 1983) and The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSE) (Rosenberg, 1965). Results found a significant negative correlation between self-esteem and perceived stress levels, with an increase in self-esteem related to lower stress levels. Results also showed a positive significant correlation between self-esteem and academic self-efficacy beliefs, with an increase in self-esteem being associated with higher scores on academic self-efficacy beliefs. Significant gender differences were found. Female participants scored lower on self-esteem compared to male participants. Male participants reported lower levels of perceived stress than female participants. Scores for academic self-efficacy beliefs were slightly higher for female participants compared with male participants but the difference was not statistically significant. Implications of the findings are discussed. Author keywords: Self-esteem, adolescence, academic self-efficacy, perceived stress