Author

Amy Jones

Date of Award

1998

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Leadership Studies

Abstract

Self-esteem development and leadership development in girls is topic that has not been widely researched. It was the aim of this study to establish a firm ground for that connection to be developed further. I firmly believe that an increase in girls' self-esteems will trigger the ability and willingness of girls to take on more leadership roles and responsibilities. This research project, through design, implementation, and analysis, has confirmed my personal beliefs on the subject.

Almost seventeen percent of a girl's leadership capabilities stem from high self-esteem but the remainder of other factors play a large role in that process as well. Based on research in the literature review, family life and relationships, the presence of a role model, and the belief that other people have in one's abilities and worth could all be factors which add to girls' leadership development. In addition, society and culture can play a major role in this development too. By requiring training sessions for teachers in order for them to gain their teaching certificates, and then actually integrating self-esteem building activities and skills into their curriculums and classroom environments, positive changes can begin to take place. Also, encouraging and helping girls to retain their strength, vitality, and confidence in their abilities would be beneficial as well. Since teenagers spend so much time in school during these crucial and impressionable years, schools are the prime candidate for helping to instill these important values and developments. Teachers need to counteract put-downs and negative self-talks they hear their students say about themselves; to ensure validation of ideas and beliefs are not encouraged but a focus on self-belief and ideas; and to encourage positive risk talcing. The development of individuals needs to become an integral and integrated aspect of daily interactions.

While this project did study many aspects of self-esteem and leadership and drew many conclusions about their correlations, much more research is necessary to provide reliability and validity. Further research in this field is abundant with options. Three examples could include: testing the relationship of other variables such as family and school achievement, on leadership; analyzing a breakdown of the self-esteem survey into components to test what aspects of self-esteem are prevalent in girls with high leadership involvement; and conducting a similar study on younger girls, preadolescent. Nonetheless, the first step toward change is awareness. With this knowledge about the importance of self-e&teem in relation to leadership, along with future research in this field, the implementation of positive action can occur.

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