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A comparison of self esteem in single-sex and co-educational secondary educational settings

Chowdhury, Sanchita; (2010) A comparison of self esteem in single-sex and co-educational secondary educational settings. Doctoral thesis , Institute of Education, University of London. Green open access

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Reviews of research evidence supporting single-sex or co-educational schools reveal mixed findings. The majority of research in this field has addressed academic achievement rather than other aspects of self esteem. Many factors may lead pupils to having a positive or negative experience of school. This study uses a multidimensional view of self esteem and considers the impact of the type of school a pupil attends on pupils' self esteem. In the present study, year 8 and 10 pupils from two female single-sex, two male single-sex, and two co-educational schools participated. 1118 pupils completed the Harter Self Perception Profile, looking at seven aspects of self esteem. These were Scholastic Competence, Athletic Competence, Job Competence, Close Friendship, Romantic Appeal, Physical Appearance, Social Acceptance and Behavioural Conduct and Global Self Worth. From this sample, twelve focus groups were held to explore data arising from the questionnaires comparing males and females from singlesex and co-educational schools in order to see which systems work for each gender and how they work in different environments. The questionnaire data revealed some effects of the type of school; however the most important factor was the gender of the pupil. Males rated themselves in general as higher than females in most of the competences except Close Friendships. Ratings appeared to decrease from year 8 to 3 year 10 except for Romantic Appeal. Focus groups recognised that the effect of peers and relationships with teachers had an impact on self esteem in school. Pupils identified that providing support for developing social relationships and having access to positive role models were ways to support self esteem in school. By asking the pupils what they find beneficial and comparing what works for males and for females across different settings, targeted support from Psychology Services and schools will and can be more useful.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: A comparison of self esteem in single-sex and co-educational secondary educational settings
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?did=1&uin=uk.bl...
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis: (D.Ed.Psy) University of London Institute of Education, 2010.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10019954
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