According to researchers, most children enter school with a good sense of self-esteem (at least as defined by psychologists) and yet leave high school with a poor sense of self-esteem. What happens in those years between starting school and finishing school?
If we are to define self-esteem as “having feelings of worth or value,” then people with adequate levels of self-esteem should display a sense of realistic confidence in their abilities and performance. People with low levels of self-esteem would be expected to display feelings of inadequacy, a fear of failure, a sense of being unworthy, and perhaps depression.
At least 50% of children will experience the divorce of their parents prior to turning 18 years old. Most children, for whatever reasons too complicated to go into here, will tend to place at least a portion of the blame for the parent’s divorce on themselves.
Since the parents are typically placed on a pedestal in the eyes of the child, the blame for the divorce cannot be placed on the parents and must be placed elsewhere, most commonly on themselves. This also significantly impacts children’s self-esteem levels.
There are other important challenges to maintaining reasonable self-esteem, such as merely being “average” in a world that worships only the good looking, the good athletes, and the well-to-do.