A comparative study of the self-esteem of the Pakistani minority and the indigenous children in Scotland.
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
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This is a comparative study of the self-esteem of
Pakistani (minority) and indigenous children in
Scotland. The study examines: (1) whether there is
any difference in the level of self-esteem of the
Pakistani minority and the indigenous children; (2)
what is the relationship between the self-esteem of
these children and their (a) ethnic identity and
preference (b) parents' child-rearing behaviour
(viz " support, control, protection and methods of
control) and (c) academic achievement; (3) how these
relationships vary with sex and cultural background of
the children; and (4) what is the most important social
determinant of their self-esteem.
The study is based on a sample of 160 children
aged 10-11 (80 Pakistani minority and 80 indigenous).
The two groups were equally divided by sex and culture,
so that cross-sex and cross-cultural comparisons could
be carried out. Furthermore, the mothers and class
teachers of these children were interviewed in the
The level of self-esteem of the children was
assessed by the 'Pier Harris Short Form', the 'Semantic
Differential Scales' and the class teachers subjective
evaluations of the childrens' self-esteem. The ethnic
identity and preference was measured by the 'Family
Picture Test', specially prepared for the project. The
parental child-rearing behaviour was measured by the
'Cornell Parental Behaviour Inventory' and by the
structured interview conducted independently with the
mother and child. Academic achievement was obtained
from the respective class teachers on teachers'
assessment forms for each child.
Following are the main results of the study:
(1) The Pakistani minority and the indigenous children
have similar levels of self-esteem.
(2) In both cultural groups ethnic identity and
preference of the children did not show a
significant relationship with their self-esteem.
(3) In both cultural groups there is a positive
relationship between the childrens' self-esteem and parental support and use of inductive methods
of control. On the other hand, there is a
negative relationship between the childrens' selfesteem
and parental love withdrawal methods of
control. The relationship between the child's
self-esteem and parental control, protection and
use of power assertion vary with the sex and
cultural background of the child.
(4) In both cultural groups there is a positive
relationship between academic-achievement and the
self-esteem of the children.
(5) The most important determinant for the self-esteem
of the children in both cultural groups is their
parents' child-rearing behaviour.
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