chapter  5
4 Pages

Self-esteem

An area where adolescents can be vulnerable is in their sense of self­ worth. There can be so many pressures from family, school, peers and the media as to how they should think, feel, behave and look that it is little wonder that many experience low self-esteem. It is often their attempts to protect their sense of worth that cause them to exhibit behaviour that brings them to the attention of school staff. They may act out in an aggressive and over-confident manner - the way they would like to be. But this is often a defence behind which lurks an adolescent with low self-esteem. This is unsurprising when you think of how the more at-risk group of adolescents have so little positive input: negative relationships with many adults, low academic self-esteem and sometimes poor peer relationships on account of their behavioural difficulties... anything that makes an adolescent stand out as being different can put him or her at risk of feeling inadequate and having low self-esteem.