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Compare. 2011 Sep;41(5):629-648.

Self-esteem and academic achievement: a comparative study of adolescent students in England and the United States.

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School of Educational Foundations, Leadership and Policy, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, USA.


Utilizing mixed methodology, this paper investigates the relationship between self-esteem and academic achievement for young adolescents within two Western cultural contexts: the United States and England. Quantitative and qualitative data from 86 North American and 86 British adolescents were utilized to examine the links between self-esteem and academic achievement from the beginning to the end of their academic year during their 11th-12th year of age. For both samples, quantitative results demonstrated that fall self-esteem was related to multiple indicators of later year academic achievement. While country differences emerge by the end of the year, math appears to have a consistent relationship with self-esteem in both country contexts. Qualitative analyses found some support for British students' self-perceptions as more accurately reflecting their academic experience than the students from the United States.


England; United States; academic achievement; early adolescence; self-esteem

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