Self concept


Self-Concept Definition


A mixture of self-esteem and self-image. Self-image is how someone sees themselves and how others see them. Self-esteem is how someone feels about themselves.

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What Affects Self-Concept

Self-Concept is affected by:

  • Age
  • Appearance
  • Gender
  • Culture
  • Emotional Development
  • Education
  • Relationships with others
  • Sexual Orientation
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Positive Self-Concept

A positive Self-Concept means:

  • you can have effective social and emotional relationships with others
  • make effective decisions
  • self confidence
  • ability to cope with emotions and feelings
  • confidence
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Negative Self-Concept

A negative Self-Concept means:

  • Depression
  • Mental health issues
  • Eating disorders
  • Addictions
  • Poor Concentration
  • Feel like failure
  • Difficulty with stability of job
  • Increased illness risk
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Self-Concept and Age (Childhood)


Only use categories to descibe gender, age and size. As they get older they expand these categories to hair colour, details of address and activities.

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Self-Concept and Age (Adolescence)


Teenagers may start to explain themselves in terms of chosen beliefs, likes, dislikes and relationships with others. Group belonging has a huge impact on self-concept.

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Self-Concept and Age (Adulthood)


Many adults may be able to explain the quality of thoughts about themselves.

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Self-Concept and Age (Older Adulthood)

Older Adulthood

May have more self-knowledge than they used to have.

May show wisdom.

Retirement has a big impact on self-concpet.

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Self-Concept and Appearance


By 10 or 12 people compare themselves to others. If we think that we look good we have a positive self-image.

The important thing is that we feel positive about the way we look. We can easily develop a negative self-image and this can lead to a lack of confidence.

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Self-Concept and Gender


There are different social expectations for men and women. 

Girls tend to do better at school where as boys tend to do better at higher education. 

Gender affects type of employment and the amount of money we earn. 

Women are more likely to interrupt their careers to look after children.

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Self-Concept and Culture


Affects our customs and ways of thinking.

Some families and communities have different ways of thinking and different beliefs. 

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Self-Concept and Sexual Orientation

Sexual Orientation 

Refers to our sexual behaviour and our choice of partner.

Sometimes this can cause problems in society such as 

  • Parents express sadness 
  • Predjudice at work 
  • May not be able to get a job working with children 
  • Public opposition to adoption and fostering

It can also affect the persons self-concept as they may be scared or confused about how they feel. 

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Self-Concept and Education


Spend more than half your waking life at school, doing homework or doing school activities. 

Success or failure at school can affect self-esteem 

Friends boost self-esteem 

Mix with other people and compare yourself to them 

Expectations of teachers affect your self-esteem 

Learn theories to help you to understand your life and that of others around you

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Self-Esteem and Relationships


Depending on the amount of time we spend with people that we have relationships with and the value we have of their opinion determines the extent they affect our self-concept.

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