The Role of Self-Esteem and Self-Image in Academic Success
Elizabeth A. Linnenbrink and Paul R. Pintrich (2002) suggest that self-esteem is a broader definition of the process at work. They argue that academic accomplishment by individuals with high self-esteem is a specific achievement of what they call self-efficacy, a sort of manifestation of a positive self-image. They (2002) contend, "Self-efficacy is a judgment of task-specific capabilities and is based on actual accomplishments and success and failures, whereas self-esteem is a much more general affective evaluation of the self" (p. 316). In their argument, a positive image of the self makes more specific accomplishments easier to attain, but self-esteem is a broader mechanism that then enables individual achievements like classroom success.
Positive self-esteem helps makes possible some of the other skills necessary for academic accomplishment. Owens (1995) observes, "Children - and adults - with high self-esteem are responsible and self controlled, perceive themselves realistically, own up to their strengths and weaknesses, take pride in their accomplishments, and are not threatened by the successes of others" (p. 1). All of these characteristics can help assure classroom success. Discipline, accepting responsibility, and self-control are all skills that enable an individual not only to get the most out of classroom learning but also encourage actions outside the classroom that support the learning process. An individual with high self-esteem is more likely to be able to complete homework assignments on time, prepare effectively for tests, and extend the in-class learning experience beyond the boundaries of the proscribed coursework.
Owens argues that high self-esteem can help an individual to develop self-control and self-discipline, important factors in doing well in class. She (1995) observes, "Several researchers have concluded that an inner locus of control has a stronger relationship to achievement than all oth