Chapter 4



Self-concept -
       All  a  person's  beliefs about their  qualities, personality, nature, behavior, skills, roles, etc...

currently accessible:
                 working self-concept...
what you might become:
                 possible selves


Self-discrepancy :
It’s effects ...the MAGNITUDE

F  Self-concept vs. reality & experience               Carl Rogers, Person-Centered Theory

   Problems?  INCONGRUENCE                                     Self-discrepancy

   Anxiety from the perceptions of SELF and the behavior / thoughts / feelings                   exhibited


IF someone sees him- or her-self in one way

                   and the ideal for themselves in another way, it is



Emotional?  when one doesn't live up to their own personal standards... Dejection…


  When one fails to live up to their level of responsibility, what they ought to do…agitation.

IF someone sees him- or her-self in one way and the ideal for themselves as another, this is


Coping with self-discrepancy


Target the discrepancy (-ies) and

change behavior!

FLESS healthy:

Blunt self-awareness by

avoiding the situation,

manipulation or

denial, repression,etc.

One’s overall perception of one’s worth
as a person; it is the
“evaluative component of the self-concept
(Weiten & Lloyd, 2000, p. 138)

Often correlated with positive behaviors…but not always!

Affects one’s efforts, persistence, etc.

F Parental behavior

More expressions of affection during childhood

Greater parental interest in child’s activities

More accepting of their                 children

Sound, consistent discipline

F Parents’ own self-esteem

Relatively high 

Roots of Self-Esteem

F  Unconditional Positive Regard

F  Conditional Positive Regard

F  Conditions of Worth

F  The Malevolent Attitude

F  The Pathological Critic



F  What do the authors say self-worth is based on?


F  Nothing – it is your right, it should be based on recognition that your worth is independent of your achievements, just because you are a unique human being.






Parenting Styles

F   Two major dimensions underlie parental behavior:

   Parental Acceptance:  influences the degree to which children internalize the standards and expectations of their parents

   Parental Control:  strictness of parental standards

Dimensions of Child-Rearing


  Authoritative: high acceptance, high control

  Authoritarian: low acceptance, high control

  Permissive: High acceptance, low control

  Neglectful: Low acceptance, low control

Dimensions of Child-Rearing


F    Set high goals

F    Accepting of children

F    Responsive to their needs

F    Encourage verbal give-and-take

F    Allow questioning of parental requests

F    Provide age-appropriate explanations


Dimensions of Child-Rearing


F     Highly demanding & controlling

F     Use of physical punishment or threat

F     Issue commands, to be obeyed without questioning

F     Maintain tight control, even as children mature

F     Emotionally distant

F     Rejecting


Dimensions of Child-Rearing


F   Few or no demands

F   Allow children free expression of impulses

F   Set few limits on appropriate behavior

F   Responsive

F   Warmly accepting

F   Indulge their children’s desires


Dimensions of Child-Rearing


F     Provide basic physical & emotional needs, but little else

F     Convey the impression that they do not particularly care about their children

F     Uninvolved

F     Unsupportive

F     Minimal supervision

F     Little time spent together

Effects of Parenting Styles

F   Parenting styles are associated with different personality traits in children

F    Data are correlational and does not establish that the parenting style is the cause of the children’s behavior; the direction of influence most likely goes both ways.


Effects of Parenting Styles



F   Self-reliant

F   Friendly

F   Cooperative

F   Self-Controlled

F   Coping skills

F   Curious

F   Achievement-oriented

Effects of Parenting Styles


F     Low self-esteem

F     Poor social skills

F     Conflicted & irritable

F     Fearful & Apprehensive

F     Moody & Unhappy

F     Easily annoyed

F     Passively hostile

F     Prone to stress

F     Aimless

F     Unfriendly

Effects of Parenting Styles


F    Impulsive & aggressive

F    Easily frustrated

F    Rebellious

F    Low in self-reliance & self-control

F    Domineering

F    Aimless

F    Low in achievement


Effects of Parenting Styles




F    Low self-esteem

F    Moody

F    Impulsive

F    Aggressive


Toward Effective Parenting

F   There are five basic principles which should be tailored to the age and developmental level of a specific child…

Toward Effective Parenting

1:  Set high, but reasonable standards

F  Expect behavior that is socially & age appropriate

F  Expect their full potential in school & other activities

F  Parents who do not expect much from their children are teaching them not to expect much from themselves

Toward Effective Parenting


2:  Stay alert for good behavior & reward it

F  Praise good behavior so your child knows what you want

F  Most parents pay attention to misbehavior and ignore good behavior, which is a backward approach


Toward Effective Parenting

3:  Explain your reasons when you ask a                                         child to do something


F  Explain the purpose of your request

F  Can make an illogical demand seem more like a reasonable request

F  Encourages self-control in a child

Toward Effective Parenting

4:  Encourage children to take others’ perspectives

F  Talk to children about the effects of their behavior on others

F  “How would you feel if someone did that to you?”

F  Promotes empathy and moral development

Toward Effective Parenting

5:  Enforce rules consistently

F  Be clear of what you expect from them

F  There must be consequences when standards are not met

F  Fosters self-control in children

Using Punishment Effectively

To use punishment effectively, it should be used less often

F   Side Effects of Punishment:

   Triggers strong negative emotional responses, such as anxiety, fear, anger and resentment, which can lead to hostility

   Can create a general suppression of behavior, where a child will withdraw and inhibit themselves from any behavior for fear of punishment

   May increase aggressive behavior when a child subdued to frequent physical punishment


Using Punishment Effectively

F  Though punishment may be overused, it still plays a role in disciplinary efforts


F  There are five guidelines which summarize research in using punishment effectively while minimizing its side effects…

Using Punishment Effectively

1:  Punishment should not damage a child’s self-esteem

F  Punishment should send the message: the behavior is undesirable, not the child

F  No harsh physical punishment, derogatory accusations, or hurtful words


Using Punishment Effectively

2:  Punishment should be swift

F  A delay undermines its impact

F  “Wait until your father gets home…”

F  Quick punishment demonstrates the connection between forbidden behavior and its consequences


Using Punishment Effectively

3:  Punishment should be consistent

F  To eliminate undesirable behavior, it should be punished every time it arises

F  Inconsistency creates confusion

Using Punishment Effectively

4:  Punishment should be explained

F  The reason for punishment should be explained as fully as possible

F  The more understanding a child has about the reason for their punishment, the more effective the punishment tends to be

F  These authoritative-style explanations helps a child develop self-control


Using Punishment Effectively

5:  Point out alternative, positive ways to behave and reinforce those actions

F  Don’t simply tell a child what NOT to do

F  Punish undesirable behaviors, but reward positive, alternative ones

F  Troublesome behaviors are often attention-seeking devices

F  Provide a child with more acceptable ways to gain attention



Overcoming the Tyranny of the Should

F  Ask – “Should according to whom?”

F  The nature of self-talk is different between high self-esteem and low self-esteem people.  How?

Key Attitudes for Maintaining self-Esteem

F  Hello

F  Bravo!

F  Expect Miracles, but Do Your Part

F  Laugh and Dance a Little Everyday

F  Love Your Inner Child


Boosting Self-Esteem



Low vs. High Self-Esteem

Low Self-Esteem:

F   Self-protective orientation

F   Avoid situations in which they might fail

F   Focus on improving their shortcomings

High Self-Esteem:

F   Self-enhancing orientation

F   Focus on their strong points

F   Pursue success even when it is risky


Guidelines for Increasing Self-Esteem:

             Recognize that you control your self- image

             Learn more about yourself

             Don’t let others set your goals

             Recognize unrealistic goals

             Modify negative self-talk

             Emphasize your strengths

             Approach others with a positive outlook

Learn More About Yourself:

§    Take a self-concept inventory, such as the one in the book “Self-esteem,” by Matthew Mckay and Patrick Fanning.

§    Read Self-help books that focus on building your self-esteem. Try to select books that:

    Have a  theoretical or research basis

    Are clear in the message that they are trying to convey

    Do not promise “miracles” in the way they advocate change in your self-esteem

    Provide detailed, explicit directions about how to enhance your self-esteem

§    Pay careful attention to your thoughts, feelings, and behavior and utilize feedback from others.

Recognize that You Control
Your Self- Image:

Ø           You ultimately control how you see yourself


Ø           You do have the power to change your self-image


Ø           Your self-image resides in your mind and is a product of your thinking


Ø           Although others may influence your self-concept, you are the final authority.

Don’t let others set your goals:


   Make your own decisions about what you will do and what you believe in.


Recognize unrealistic goals:

§        Recognize  reality so that you do not condemn yourself for failure.

§        Compare yourself against similar others so that you do not hurt your self-esteem

Modify Negative Self-Talk:

ØAlways take credit for your successes and consider the possibility that your failures may not be your fault.

ØStop irrational thinking and negative self-talk before they breed poor self-esteem.

Emphasize your strengths:


ØEveryone has strengths and weaknesses.

ØYou should accept those weaknesses that you are powerless to change and work on those that you can change, without becoming obsessed about it.

ØAt the same time, you should recognize your strengths and learn to appreciate them.

Approach others with
a positive outlook:


§   Facilitate your esteem building efforts by engaging in a positive outlook towards others.

§   Approaching people with a positive, supportive outlook will promote rewarding interactions and help you earn their acceptance.

§   At the same time, your self-esteem will be enhanced.

The National Association for Self-Esteem (NASE)




v   NASE believes that self-esteem is “The experience of being capable of meeting life’s challenges and being worthy of happiness.”


v   Mission Statement: To “fully integrate self-esteem into the fabric of American society so that every individual, no matter what their age or background, experiences personal worth and happiness.”

Helpful Self-Esteem Links:

F   Self-Esteem learning Foundation:


F   Building Self-Esteem:


F   The Bright Side: