P1- Discuss factors which affect the development of self-esteem M1- Compare two theories of self-esteem which contribute to our understanding of self-concept The NHS define self-esteem as being the opinion each individual has of themselves. NHS, (2015). It is the self-image and self –respect of an individual’s perception of themselves. Roshahl.c, (2008). This assignment is going to discuss the six factors that affect self-esteem. These factors are the growth promoting climate, the looking glass self, self-actualisation, ego identity, social identity and finally, the constructing of self-concept. Maslow stated that people are motivated to achieve certain needs. When one need is fulfilled a person seeks to fulfil the next one, and so on. Maslow, (1943).
The self-actualisation theory was created by Maslow in 1943. This theory is based on the hierarchy of needs. This theory is an ongoing process. This theory is not something which is aimed for by a person, instead it’s something you do. In addition to this, the theory is not restricted to individuals; anyone is able to achieve this hierarchy of needs. The hierarchy is made up of levels these levels are; physiological needs, safety needs, love and belonging needs, esteem needs and finally, is all of the above are achieved, according to Maslow they are able to then reach self-actualisation. Maslowski.R.M, Morgan.L, (1973). The first stage of this theory is the biological and physiological needs, in order to achieve this a person must have the basic needs of living, they are; air, food, fluids, shelter, warmth, shelter, warmth and sleep.
The safety needs of the hierarchy include protection from elements, security, order, law, stability and finally freedom fear. The love and belongingness stage of Maslow’s theory requires friendship, intimacy, affection and love from work colleagues, family, friends and romantic relationships. McGuire.K.J, (2012) pp281. The fourth stage of the hierarchy of needs is the esteem of needs, to achieve this stage an individual must experience achievement, prestige, self-concept, statues, dominance, mastery, self-concept and respect from others.
The final stage is the self-actualisation. This stage involves realising personal potential, self-fulfilment, seeking person growth and peak experiences. Maslow states that without achieving the first four stages, self-actualisation cannot be achieved. The second theory is Erickson’s Ego theory. This is another theory which is based on stages. Erickson’s theory focuses on the eight stages of life starting with infant and finishing with older age. The theory is a lifespan model of development taking in five stages up to the age of 18 years old and three further stages beyond the age of 18 and into adulthood. Each stage has a conflict, resolution and a cumilation in age these will all be presented in the table below.
Cumiliation in age
0-1 years old
Basic trust vs. mistrust
Appreciation of independence and relatedness
Early childhood 1-3years old
Autonomy vs. Shame
Acceptance of cycle of life from integration to disintegration
Play age 3-6 years old
Initiative vs. Guilty
Humour, empathy and resilience
School age 6-12 years old
Industry vs. Inferiority
Humiliation, acceptance of the course of one’s life and unfulfilled hopes
12-19 years olds
Identity vs. confusion
Sense of complexity of relationships, values of tenderness and loving freely
Intimacy vs. Love isolation
Sense of complexity of life; merging of sensory logical and aesthetic perception
Adulthood 26-64 years old
Generative vs. Care stagnation
Caritas, caring for others, empathy and concern
65 years old -death
Integrity vs. Despair
Existential identity, a sense of integrity strong enough to withstand physical disintegration
The growth promoting climate theory suggests that a person requires a supportive environment that encourages an individual to grow positively. The theorist of this theory is Carl Rogers. The growth promoting climate theory is a person centred approach. The purpose of the person centred approach is to change, understand personality as well as human relationship. Jones.R.N, (2010) PP102. According to Carl Rogers, a positive involves diversity, empowerment which means to allow the individual to grow and achieve. Other factors which are required to create a positive environment is open communication, freedom and the capability to reach their full potential. However, without a positive environment, the growing promotion climate theory cannot be achieves. The looking glass self theory looks at how an individual views themselves. The theorist of this theory is Horton Cooley. The looking glass self is another theory that is separated into stages. This theory is made up of three stages.
The first stage id that a person imagines how they are perceived and viewed by others. The second stage of the looking glass theory is when a person imagines how they are judged by others and this is based and concluded by the first stage of the theory which is how a person imagines they are perceived by another individual. The final stage of this theory is the experiencing of a type of feeling or reaction to the staged in one and two. Gbadebo.S.A, (2011), pp124. For example a person may believe that they are perceived as being polite and friendly to another individual. This would be the first stage of the theory (imaging how they are perceived by others). This would therefore lead to the individual imagining they are judged in a positive light and a well-mannered individual. This would be the second stage of the theory (the way in which a person imagines they are judged by others). The way in which an individual acts towards them would determine the opinion they have of them. Gbadebo.S.A, (2011), pp124.
If a person who is isolated in a situation is judged to be a polite friendly individual they are more likely to make friends as they may give off a friendly vibe encouraging people to want to engage with them however if they were perceived as being rude and arrogant, other may not want to associate or include the individual in their conversation and may even think the individual is purposely isolating themselves from the situation. The Social identity theory was created by Henri Tajfel in 1979. He proposed that groups which people belonged to were an important source of pride and self-esteem. These groups may be a person’s social class family or a person’s choice of football team. Groups give individuals a sense of identity and sense of belonging to the social world. Burke.P.j, (2009).
This theory focuses on how we perceive and make sense of each other. This helps with the construction of society and culture. This theory suggests that people are interested in the information of others such as their beliefs, intentions and affiliations. Tajfel. H, (2010). This enables a person to interpret and understand the words and actions of another person as well as their decision makings. This also allows a predication of a person’s future. The final factor that affects a person’s self-esteem is the constructing of self-theory. A sense of self or personhood, of what kind of person one is. Identities always involve both sameness and difference, (2000) Penguin Dictionary. ‘Identity is about belonging, about what you have in common with some people and what differentiates you from others. At its most basic it gives you a sense of personal location, the stable core to individuality. But it is also about your social relationships, your complex involvement with others’ (1996).
This theory consists of three main arguments they are; We are born with our identities; identities and culturally and historically dependent, identities are fluid and fragmented and are a result of conscious and unconscious thought and emotion (affective attachment to particular identities). This theory consists of sources of identity, they are gender, age, sexuality, ethnicity, social class, consumption, employment, roles and responsibility, family networks, friendships, use of technology, politics, leisure activities and finally the body. All of the discussed theories are all contributing factors to the development of person’s self-esteem. All of which explain have a different understanding. Some were evidently based on the needs of an individual in order to live such as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, others focused on the different stages of life a person experiences such as Erickson’s eight stages of life. M1- The aim of this next task is to compare two theories of self-esteem which contribute to our understanding of self-concept.
The two theories this assignment is going to focus on are Erickson’s eight stages of life theory and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The first similarity of these two theories is that they are both broken down into stages however Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is split into five stages Maslow. A.H, (2013) whereas, Erickson’s life stages are split into six. The different number of stages is on difference between the two theories. A further difference between the two theories is that Erickson’s stages are based on the stages of life every individual experiences. Therefore the theory can be easily generalised to all individuals during a specific age group. In addition to this, Erickson’s ego theory is structured in a timeline of stages. However, the stages of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs are the requirements needed in life such as warmth, shelter, love and family. Rakowski.N, (2011).
Therefore Erickson’s theory focuses on experience whereas Maslow’s theory focuses on the needs of an individual and the goals of achievement of an individual. An additional difference between Maslow’s and Erickson’s theory is that Maslow states that without successfully achieving one stage a person cannot proceed to achieve the next stage preventing a person for achieving actualisation. Erickson’s eight stages of life are experienced by all individuals throughout their life span and therefore all stages are experienced and unresolved stages can be resolved in later stages in life. Tiffany.L, (2014). Erickson’s ego theory focuses on psychosocial stages whereas Maslows hierarchy theory focused on the needs of an individual. The year the two theories were developed is another comparison, Erickson’s Ego theory was developed in 1950 whereas Maslow’s hierarchy theory was developed in 1943.
Erickson’s Ego theory has an overall finishing point which is when an individual achieves self-actualisations whereas Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a continuous cycle which continues until a person reach death. Tiffany.L, (2014). A final comparison of the two theories is that Erickson’s Ego theory was influenced by a theory which already existed; this was Freud’s theory regarding the structure and topography of personality. Maslow’s hierarchy theory on the other handed was an extended version of his own work rather than the work of others. Chapman, (2001). Both the theories of Abraham Maslow and Eric Erickson support the use of human response assessment in the experimental and behavioural perspectives. Mcleod.S. Erickson’s eight stages of life also identifies task which must be achieved at each stage and similarly to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, if these tasks are not achieved, a person cannot proceed successfully achieve the next task.
Interpersonal growth and self-actualisation in groups, Maslowski.r.m, Morgan.L, (1973). Text book of basic nursing, Roshahl.c, (2008).
(2000) Penguin Dictionary of Sociology.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. An introduction, McGuire.K.J, (2012), pp281 Theory and practice of counselling and therapy, Jones.R.N, (2010) PP102. Journey into the looking glass, Gbadebo.S.A, (2011), pp124.
Identity theory, Burke.P.j, (2009).
Social identity and intergroup relations, Tajfel. H, (2010)
A theory of human motivation, Maslow. A.H, (2013)
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs model, Rakowski.N, (2011).
Erik Erickson, psychological stages simply psychology, Mcleod.S. Chapman, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (2001).
Tiffany.L,, Erickson and Maslow, compare and contrast (2014).