Changes in the Self-Perception of Adolescent Girls: Girl Scout Camp Experiences
Self-perception is the way in which an individual perceives himself or herself. Both self-perception and self-esteem provide a picture of what an individual thinks of himself or herself in comparison to others. Most males and females tend to lose self-esteem as they enter adolescence and middle school. However, the amount of self-esteem lost by young females is significantly higher than their male peers. Young women rely on role models as an image of what they can achieve, and young women in an environment with achieving female role models tend to score better on measures of self-esteem. Can improvements in female adolescents' self esteem be induced through a structured program in an environment of high achieving women? Participants were 144 young women between the ages of 14 and 17 years; the adolescents attended a 2-week residential Girl Scout camp. Participant's self-esteem was measured at the beginning and end of their 2-week session with Harter's Self-Perception Profile for Adolescents (SPPA). The SPPA measures self-esteem using 8 sub-scales, and a measure of global self-worth. Significant results were only found on the sub-scale of Physical Appearance. This lack of significant results in other sub-scales may be a result of a nonrepresentative population.