Self Esteem and Academic Achievement in Middle School Students: A Correlational Study

Kitchin, Brian
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Centenary University
This study investigates the connection between the academic side of learning and the social emotional. More specifically, this study looks at one specific social emotional category, self-esteem, and examines the possibility of a correlation to academic success. Using a well-established quantifiable measure of self-esteem, The Coopersmith Self Esteem Inventory and each of its embedded self-esteem subscores (General Self, Social Self, Home/ Parent Self, School/ Academic Self), the self-esteem level of 51 volunteer participants were established. Each participant was middle school aged (Grades 6-8) and was a current student at a middle school in Middlesex County, New Jersey. Using a multiple regression, these Coopersmith scores were individually compared to grades in core academic subjects (Math, ELA, Science, and Social Studies) as well as NJSLA standardized assessment scores in Math and ELA. The results varied for the different conducted tests. Overall, a correlation was not found to exist between NJSLA scores and self-esteem as determined by the Coopersmith Self Esteem Inventory. However, there was a positive correlation found to exist between grades in core academic subjects and participant self-esteem. The correlation was not strong enough to be used as a predictor for individual student grades or self-esteem level; however, a ​P​-value of greater than .95 for multiple Coopersmith subscores is indicative of a relationship between the two variables that is statistically significant. This is evidence to suggest that as a whole, middle school students with higher self-esteem are also more likely to see an increase in academic success as well.
Brian Kitchin Dissertation