Assessing the self-esteem of female undergraduate students: an issue of methodology
For many students, embarking on higher education can pose particular threats and challenges, not only to academic identity, but also to fundamental, personal aspects of the self. This paper reports a methodological study that employed quantitative and qualitative research methods to explore the impact on the sense of self and self-esteem of a group of female first-year undergraduates. Results from a Self-esteem inventory, a variation on Q Methodology, an Ideal-self inventory and a semi-structured interview revealed different but complementary aspects of the self and indicated that participants' self-esteem increased over the duration of the study, as recorded on all four measures. It is suggested that the most appropriate way of uncovering and understanding mediators of self-esteem may be through a mixed-method approach.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: University of Cambridge, UK 2: The Open University, UK
Publication date: June 1, 2007