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Unemployment and Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale

The concept of self-esteem is derived from self –theory. Theory of self has been based on a Euro-American view, which has low value on the African –Americans. A basic assumption of self-theory is the need to appreciate oneself and be appreciated by others. This basic assumption, according to Cross (1971) has no appreciation for the African –Americans. For instance, he points to the African-Americans experience in the 1900s discrimination and shows migration patterns across the United States among the Africans with hope of receiving high self-worth and to be appreciated by the Americans,unfortunately,many of the states did not provide appreciation to them as they wished ,thus had low self-esteem on themselves. According to Rosenberg (1986) self –esteem is the evaluation or judgment of a persons worth; more explicitly, it is an individuals perception of his or her personal significance. In relation to the concept of self-esteem is the phenomenon of evaluation that the person makes with regards to him or herself (Coppersmith, 1967).How one is treated, by others, and whether they internalize that treatment will affect the perception one s self, this is described by Rosenberg (1986).

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It is believed by some theorists that self-esteem develops as a child grows and socializes with others (Quilty, 2006).Furthermore, self-esteem has been viewed, as a significant variable that may explain and /or predict behavior (Keller, 1987).Quilty (2006) argues that self-esteem is concerned with our inner feelings and thus a vital concept in our lives as it affects our health, our career decisions, and the way we solve problems we encounter. He stated that, “high self-esteem is possessing good opinion on oneself, while low self-esteem indicates bad feeling “(Quilty, 2006).

According to Cross (1971) long term unemployment is marked by decline in self esteem, the relationship between unemployment and self-esteem is very complicated and might be affected by variables such as occupational status, the kind of work, amount of social support and personal differences. Unemployed men seem to have lower self esteem in average just like it is the same case with the young unemployed population who experience low self esteem during the long periods of joblessness (Coppersmith, 1967). They are shown to have higher depressive symptoms compared with their employed counterparts. Depressive symptoms and self esteem loss are taken to be an outcome of the negative encounters related with the frequent unsuccessful search for employment opportunities, as stated by Cross (1971). The negative experiences are associated with the various cost of being unlucky to get a job or work to do. This includes loss of material benefits, they impacts negatively on the peer relationships and family life, failure to live up to one’s expectations concerning getting employed, and disappointments of positive work motivations.

Coppersmith (1967)describes that these negative experiences determine some cognitive and effective changes associated with someone s opinion of self, therefore ,its argued by Cross(1971) that work is a vital part of a person’s self concept in that it assists one to identify and find better means of satisfying certain basic needs. Being employed or obtaining employment increases self-esteem and decreases depressive symptoms depending with how well job characteristics goes along with the individual characteristics. If an employed displays more depressive symptoms, it’s expected of them to also put the blame on the bad events on stably recurrent aspects of self that are outside one’s control and to externalize the good events as attributing them to such factors as good fortune, a favorable circumstance or the intervention of others (Keller,1987).Causes of the current long term unemployment includes factors such as inflation, poor economic planning and management, trade union activities and the effects of technological changes according to Cross( 1971).

Rosenbergs (1965) conceptual and operational development of the term self-esteem appears to be a prominent and salient phenomenon among people. Regardless of the age of the subjects, Rosenberg’s self-esteem scale (RSES) appears to be used frequently and widely among researchers. Self –esteem is a one-dimensional construct reflecting negative and positive attitudes towards the self, and that it transcends evaluation of specific areas of functioning according to Rosenberg (1965). Rosenbergs scale was originally designed to assess global self-esteem as one factor based on ten items –a mixture of both positively and negatively worded items. Responses result in two oblique trait factors one based on the positively worded item and the other based on the negatively worded items. For instance, it’s claimed that if two factors were substantially meaningful, they should be differentially related top external criteria. Therefore ,it appears that the internal reliability and factor structures of the Rosenberg self-esteem scale is psychologically sound across many languages and cultures.Both within and across many nations, Rosenberg scores correlates in expected ways with the key personality traits of neuroticism and extraversion ,as well as the model of self dimension from attachment theory (Rosenberg, 1965)

According to Rosenberg (1965) some cultures possess negative item bias, without correcting for cross cultural variability in response to negative items, comparison of national mean values on the Rosenberg self-esteem scale remains a problem. The variance in responses to the Rosenberg self -esteem scale indicates systematic patterning across cultures with higher standard deviations present in more individualistic, power differentiated, and wealthier cultures. Therefore, this is an indication that there is a chance of people from different places to portray neutral response discrimination, thus leaving out the necessary results of self esteem scale ratings. Therefore, future cross cultural research on self-esteem will benefit from more exploring complex associations of the negative item bias and the neutral response of global self esteem (Rosenberg, 1965).

Reference List

Cross, J. (1971).Self-esteem research, theory, and practice: toward a positive Psychology of self-esteemU.S.A: Springer Publishing Company.

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Rosenberg, M. (1986). Society and the adolescent child. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Rosenberg, M. (1965). Society and the adolescent self-image. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Smith, C. (1967). The demoralizing effect of prolonged unemployment. New York: Press.

Quilty, L. (2006). Correlates of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale method effects. Structural Equation Modeling. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, December 4). Unemployment and Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/unemployment-and-rosenbergs-self-esteem-scale/

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Unemployment and Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale'. 4 December.

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