Maxwell’s Self-Esteem Research

In my master’s research project with thirty-three junior baccalaureate student nurses, the twenty-five item Self Esteem Inventory (SEI) and the one hundred item Tennessee Self-Concept Scale (TSCS) inter-correlated with a high degree of significance.  Those individuals with low SEI scores also had low TSCS scores.  Over the three test periods, beginning, mid-term, and end of semester, the SEI scores and the TSCS scores correlated at a probability level of p .0001 for the “Total Positive” (self-concept total score) and at a level of p .01 for each of the TSCS self-concept sub-score items, with the exception on the last test of p .17 of SEI and Moral-Ethical Self.  The other sub-scores are Physical Self, Personal Self, Family Self, Social Self, Identity, Self-Satisfaction, and Behavior.  Negative inter-correlations of p .01 on all three test times existed between SEI and TSCS Neurosis and General Maladjustment scores, that is, the higher the SEI and TSCS scores, the lower the Neurosis and General Maladjustment scores.  Religion was a significan covariate with the SEI but no with TSCS Total Positive scores.  SEI scores below 75 were associated with deviant TSCS Empirical scores on the TSCS Clinical Form. Empirical scores included Neurosis and General Maladjustment mentioned above and others that were less correlated or not at all correlated.  SEI scores of 100 were associated with the Empirical score Defensive Positive, indicative of a false high score.  During the year the students gained in the ability to be self-critical, an admirable trait. There were indications on the student’s personal data scores that Memorable Happenings were likely to effect a change their opinions of themselves.
The above information will be helpful to those scholars who wish to determine the association of the degree of interest in religion and the degree of some types of personal problems.  Some aspersions have been cast toward persons who seek religious experience as a way to solve personal problems.  I, however, see religion, and particularly a relationship with God, in a positive light, as a way to help resolve personal problems and increase integration of personality.  Because of the high inter-correlations of SEI with the TSCS scores, the low cost of the SEI test form, and the speed of administering and scoring the SEI (five minutes and five minutes respectively) compared to the TSCS (one hour and 25 minutes by hand respectively), the SEI could be used profitably as a screening instrument for large groups in order to identify individuals in greater need of counseling.    Research thesis, “The Self-Concept of Baccalaureate Nursing Students and Their First Clinical Nursing Courses” was published in 1984 at the University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas.

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