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“Children are not just given a self by their parents or culture; rather, they construct selves. As children develop, their self-understanding changes.”(Santrock, 2014)


Middle and Late Childhood


Understanding Others

Middle and Late Childhood




The global evaluative dimension of the self; also called self-worth or self-image. (Santrock, 2014)

The quality of parent-child interaction in infancy and early childhood lays the groundwork for self-esteem. As a result, if children have low self-esteem in middle and late childhood, they may have experienced neglect or abuse in their parent-child relationships earlier in development. Children with high self-esteem are more likely to have a secure attachment to their parents and parents who provide sensitive care.

(Thompson, 2011, 2013a, b, c, d)

Gender Differences in Self-Esteem

Self-Esteem in Social Context


Increasing Children’s Self-Esteem

A current problem is that too many of today's children and adolescents develop inflated self-esteem as a result of receiving meaningless praise while growing up. Too frequently, they receive accolades for inadequate or even bad performance. They may struggle to manage rivalry and criticism.

(Graham, 2005; Stipek, 2005)

Identifying the domains of competence important to the child

Providing emotional support and social approval

Praising achievement

Encouraging coping


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