Health and Social Care - Self-Concept


All people have a view of themselves know as their self-concept.

This is based on a combination of self-esteem (how a person feels about themselves), self-image (how a person sees themselves) and how they are viewed by others.

A persons self-concept is affected by age, appearance, gender, culture, emotional development, education, relationships with others and sexual orientation.

Positive self-concept

  • Have effective social and emotional relationships with others

  • Make effective decisions at work

  • Have self-confidence when meeting new people

  • Cope with emotions and feelings when things go wrong

  • Feel confident when experiencing or learning new things


Negative self-concept

  • Suffer with depression and mental health problems including eating disorders and addiction

  • Have poor concentration

  • Feel like a failure

  • Having difficulty keeping a job

  • Have an increased risk of illness


Self-Concept - Age


Children will only use categories to describe them as being a boy or a girl, their age and size. As they become older they expand their categorical placements to hair colour, details of address and activities.


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


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

Later Adulthood

May have more self-knowledge than they used to have. May show wisdom in the way they talk about themselves. Retirement has a big impact on self-concept as some people identify themselves with their jobs.


Self-Concept - Appearance

By the age of 10 or 12 we begin to compare ourselves


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