OJPM  Vol.6 No.2 , February 2016
Association between the Way of Being Scolded and Self-Esteem in University Students
ABSTRACT
Self-esteem is an important factor in the rise of depression cases among children and adolescents. In order to build self-esteem, it is important for parents to respect their children, acknowledge their value, and always encourage them, as well as for teachers to acknowledge their character and ability, in addition to allowing them to experience success. At the same time, voices calling for parents and teachers to rediscover their willingness and responsibility to scold children when necessary have also been growing. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to determine the association between self-esteem and the way of scolding. With 311 university students as the study subjects, self-esteem and the relevant factors thereof were evaluated. As a result, no association was observed between the way of being scolded and self-esteem. Moreover, the reasons for being scolded were also not associated with self-esteem. However, regarding the association between the degree of acceptance (convinced by the way of being scolded) and self-esteem, it was revealed that student groups with higher self-esteem had a higher degree of acceptance. This suggested that self-esteem is associated with whether or not the people being scolded are convinced, as opposed to the way of being scolded or the reason for being scolded. Therefore, it was suggested that building a good relationship with those you scold is more important than the way of scolding.

Received 21 January 2016; accepted 21 February 2016; published 24 February 2016

1. Introduction

Recently, the situation regarding mental health has become a serious issue regardless of age. An increase in the number of depression cases among children and adolescents has also been reported [1] -[3] . An important factor associated with these mental health issues is self-esteem. Self-esteem is a feeling of self-evaluation representing satisfaction/dissatisfaction with oneself [4] [5] . In other words, high self-esteem implies emotional stability and social adaptation, whereas low self-esteem implies strong anxiety and a sense of inferiority. People with high self-esteem are able to accept themselves as they are and love themselves, enabling them to unashamedly face their weaknesses and limitations. In addition, they do not need to be overly concerned or too defensive in regard to human relationships and are able to respect others in addition to respecting themselves. On the other hand, people with low self-esteem are said to feel ashamed of their existence, are overly concerned about others, and are caught up in a sense of self-humiliation and inferiority [6] - [8] . It has also been reported that low self-esteem is associated with depression and anxiety [9] [10] .

The self-esteem of children is believed to be largely affected by how their parents nurture them along with good relationships between the children and their teachers, and in order to build high self-esteem, it is important for parents to respect their children, acknowledge their value, and always encourage them, as well as for teachers to acknowledge their character and ability, in addition to allowing them to experience success.

As has been described, while the importance of respect and acknowledging children in forming self-esteem has been demonstrated, in association with the qualitative changes in crime and problematic behaviors of the adolescents, voices calling for parents and teachers to rediscover their willingness and responsibility to scold children have also been growing. The idea here is that children are to be well-disciplined, parents and adults are responsible for teaching social rules, and children are to be scolded when necessary. In this manner, we believe that a rediscovery of the willingness and responsibility to scold children when necessary is required among parents, adults, and teachers.

Therefore, in the present study, focusing on the association between self-esteem and the way of scolding, a study was carried out among university students who are able to objectively look back on their experience of being scolded. With the idea that self-esteem can be built not only in situations when children are accepted and acknowledged but also when they are being scolded, the objective of the present study was to determine how the way of being scolded is associated with self-esteem.

2. Methods

A total of 311 university students (male: 163 subjects, female: 148 subjects) were included as the study subjects. The age of the subjects ranged from 18 to 24 years, with a mean age of 20.7 ± 1.9 years (mean ± standard deviation). It was an anonymous survey and since it involved private issues, prior consent was obtained from the subjects upon receiving an explanation that the survey results will be used for research purposes only.

The content of the survey was as follows:

1) Regarding self-esteem

In order to measure the self-esteem of the subjects, the “general” domain self-esteem scale by Rosenberg [11] [12] was selected for the question items [13] [14] . Each item was answered by selecting from multiple choices of “agree,” “tend to agree,” “tend to disagree,” or “disagree,” with a maximum score of 40 points and a minimum of 10 points.

2) Regarding the way of being scolded

The first question asked who the subject was scolded by the most, followed by question items asking the reason for being scolded, the way of being scolded, and whether or not the subject was convinced by that way of being scolded, by that person who scolded the subject the most [15] . The ways of being scolded were classified as follows using the classification by Kawashima [16] , who reported on ways of scolding children.

Group 1) Scold emotionally and according to parental ideology

・ yelling.

・ scold on a whim.

Group 2) Scold at length

・ bring up issues other than the matter at hand.

・ scold at length and persistently.

Group 3) Scold by comparing with others

・ scold by comparing with siblings or other children.

・ scold by comparing the person being scolded to when they were younger.

Group 4) Scold indirectly

・ scold sarcastically.

・ scold in a roundabout way.

Group 5) Scold commandingly

・ scold in a commanding tone of voice.

Group 6) One-sided denial

・ deny completely.

・ scold without listening to what the scolded person has to say.

Group 7) Child belittling

・ treat like a small child and look down upon.

Group 8) Good way of scolding

・ scold by persuasion.

・ scold by not comparing with others.

・ scold by defining the reason for scolding.

・ scold calmly, without yelling.

・ scold only for the original reason.

・ scold for a short time.

・ scold while simultaneously acknowledging good points.

・ scold after listening to what the scolded person has to say.

・ scold by providing advice at the same time.

To the question item asking whether or not the subject was convinced by the way of scolding the subject, the subjects were to answer by selecting “Yes,” “Yes and No,” or “No.” The score was calculated as 3 points for “Yes,” 2 points for “Yes and No,” and 1 point for “No.”

All scores for self-esteem were displayed as the mean ± standard deviation. Subjects were classified into three groups according to their scores, using the overall mean value as the baseline, with scores of 10 to 20 points as the low group, 21 to 29 points as the average group, and 30 to 40 points as the high group. Response rates were calculated for the person the subjects were scolded by and the reason therefore. An analysis of variance was conducted regarding the way of being scolded and eight groups were classified. p < 0.05 or p < 0.01 was considered statistically significant.

3. Results

3.1. Regarding Self-Esteem

The responses to the self-esteem question items are provided in Table 1. Overall, more than 70% of the subjects responded positively to the three items: “3. I think I have some strong points”; “4. I am able to do things at a level most people are able to”; and “7. I think I am a person who has at least the same value as others.” On the other hand, more than 70% responded negatively to the four items: “1. I am satisfied with myself in all aspects.”; “2. I sometimes think I am not a good person at all.”; “8. I wish I could respect myself a little more.”; and “9. I think I am a person who tends to fail.”

The mean score was 24.9 (±4.6) points. With the mean score as the baseline, the results were classified into three groups within approximately ±20% thereof: a low group of 10 to 20 points; an average group of 21 to 29 points; and a high group of 30 to 40 points. The low group included 41 subjects (13.2%), the average group included 226 subjects (72.7%), and the high group included 44 subjects (14.1%).

3.2. Regarding the Way of Being Scolded

The person who scolded the subject most is provided in Table 2. The most common response was “mother” in 203 subjects (65.3%), followed by “father” in 70 subjects (22.4%), “teachers” in 27 subjects (8.7%), and “grandparents” in 6 subjects (1.9%). The response of “others” included “someone at my part time job” and “aunt.”

The most frequent reasons for the person scolding the subject most are provided in Table 3. The most common

Table 1. The responses to the question items of self-esteem (general) measurement.

Table 2. The person by whom the subjects were scolded.

Table 3. The reason for being scolded.

response was “life attitude” in 223 subjects (70.7%), followed by “studying” in 41 subjects (13.2%), “personality” in 19 subjects (6.1%), “others” in 8 subjects (2.6%), “appearance/behavior” in 7 subjects (2.3%), “sports” in 5 subjects (1.6%), and “friendship” in 4 subjects (1.3%). “Others” included “taking out anger,” “manners,” “driving,” “career,” “life rules and way of thinking,” “helping with housework,” “everything,” and “do not know.”

The way of being scolded by the person scolding the most is provided in Table 4. The most common response was “yelling” in 198 subjects (63.7%), followed by “scolding by persuasion” in 175 subjects (56.3%).

A comparison of the mean scores of the degree of acceptance between groups classified according to the way of being scolded is provided in Table 5. “Group 8. Good way of scolding” demonstrated the highest degree of acceptance at 2.4 points, followed by “Group 1. Scold emotionally and according to parental ideology” at 1.9 points, “Group 5. Scold commandingly” at 1.8 points, “Group 2. Scold at length” at 1.3 points, “Group 3. Scold by comparing with others” at 1.3 points, “Group 6. One-sided denial” at 1.4 points, “Group 7. Child belittling” at 1.3 points, and “Group 4. Scold indirectly” at 1.3 points, indicating a significant difference in the degree of acceptance depending on the way of being scolded.

Moreover, in a multiple comparison test, the degree of acceptance in Group 8 was significantly higher than Groups 1 through 7. In addition, the degree of acceptance in Group 1 was significantly higher than Groups 2, 3, 4, 6, and 7, while that in Group 5 was significantly higher than Groups 2, 4, 6, and 7.

3.3. The Association between the Way of Being Scolded and Self-Esteem

The mean self-esteem score in groups classified according to the way of being scolded is presented in Table 6. The mean self-esteem score in groups classified according to way-of-scolding revealed that scores ranged from 24.5 points to 25.4 points, all fitting into the average group, with no significant differences observed between groups.

The results comparing the mean self-esteem score in groups classified according to the reason for being scolded (1. studying, 2. sports, 3. friendship, 4. appearance/behavior, 5. life attitude, 6. personality, and 7. others) are provided in Table 7. The scores of each group ranged from 23.1 points to 27.6 points, all fitting into the average group, with no significant differences observed between groups.

The results comparing the number of subjects in high, average, and low self-esteem groups classified according to the way of being scolded are provided in Table 8. Subjects were counted as one if they selected at least one item within the group.

Table 4. The way of scolding.

Table 5. The degree of acceptance in groups classified according to the way of being scolded.

**p < 0.01.

Table 6. The mean self-esteem score in groups classified according to the way of being scolded.

N.S.

Table 7. The mean self-esteem score in groups classified according to the reason for being scolded.

N.S.

Table 8. The way of being scolded in high, average, and low self-esteem groups.

A total of 44 subjects were included in the high self-esteem group. The most frequent way of being scolded was “Group 8. Good way of scolding (38 subjects, 86.4%),” followed by “Group 1. Scold emotionally and according to parental ideology (27 subjects, 61.4%),” “Groups 2 and 4. Scold at length/indirectly (20 subjects, 45.5%, each),” “Group 6. One-sided denial (19 subjects, 43.2%),” “Group 3. Scold by comparing with others (18 subjects, 40.1%),” and “Group 5. Scold commandingly (17 subjects, 38.64%),” with “Group 7. Child belittling (12 subjects, 27.3%)” being the least frequent.

A total of 226 subjects were included in the average self-esteem group. The most frequent way of being scolded was “Group 8. Good way of scolding (185 subjects, 81.9%),” followed by “Group 1. Scold emotionally and according to parental ideology (159 subjects, 70.4%),” “Group 2. Scold at length (139 subjects, 61.5%),” “Group 6. One-sided denial (107 subjects, 47.4%),” “Group 4. Scold indirectly (99 subjects, 43.8%),” “Group 5. Scold commandingly (77 subjects, 34.1%),” and “Group 3. Scold by comparing with others (88 subjects, 38.9%)” with “Group 7. Child belittling (64 subjects, 27.9%)” being the least frequent.

A total of 41 subjects were included in the low self-esteem group. The most frequent way of being scolded was “Group 8. Good way of scolding (33 subjects, 80.5%),” followed by “Group 1. Scold emotionally and according to parental ideology (31 subjects, 75.6%),” “Group 3. Scold by comparing with others (24 subjects, 58.4%),” “Group 2. Scold at length (23 subjects, 56.1%),” “Group 4. Scold indirectly (22 subjects, 53.7%),” “Group 6. One-sided denial (19 subjects, 46.3%),” and “Group 5. Scold commandingly (18 subjects, 43.9%),” with “Group 7. Child belittling (15 subjects, 36.6%)” being the least frequent.

The mean degree of acceptance score (convinced―3 points, neither convinced nor unconvinced―2 points, or unconvinced―1 point) in high, average, and low self-esteem groups is presented in Table 9. The mean score was highest in the “high group” at 2.0 points, followed by the “average group” at 1.9 points, and lowest in the “low group” at 1.8 points, demonstrating a significant difference in the degree of acceptance among high, average, and low self-esteem groups.

The self-esteem scores based on the way of being scolded (Groups 1 to 8) and the degree of acceptance are presented in Table 10. In Group 1, the mean self-esteem scores for “convinced, neither convinced nor unconvinced, or convinced” subjects ranged from 24.5 to 24.9 points, fitting into the average group, indicating no significant difference in the degree of acceptance. In Group 2, the mean self-esteem scores for “convinced, neither convinced nor unconvinced, or convinced” subjects were highest in “unconvinced” subjects at 25.0 points, followed by “neither convinced nor unconvinced” subjects at 24.6 points, and lowest in “convinced” subjects at 23.2 points, indicating a significant difference in the mean self-esteem score based on the degree of acceptance within Group 2. In Group 3, the mean self-esteem scores for “convinced, neither convinced nor unconvinced, or convinced” subjects ranged from 22.6 to 24.6 points, fitting into the average group, indicating no significant difference in the degree of acceptance. In Group 4, the mean self-esteem scores for “convinced, neither convinced nor unconvinced, or convinced” subjects ranged from 24.7 to 25.0 points, fitting into the average group, indicating no significant difference in the degree of acceptance. In Group 5, the mean self-esteem scores for “convinced, neither convinced nor unconvinced, or convinced” subjects ranged from 24.0 to 25.6 points, fitting into the average group, indicating no significant difference in the degree of acceptance. In Group 6, the mean self-esteem scores for “convinced, neither convinced nor unconvinced, or convinced” subjects ranged from 23.6 to 25.1 points, fitting into the average group, indicating no significant difference in the degree of acceptance.

Table 9. The level of acceptance among self-esteem score groups.

N.S.

Table 10. The self-esteem score based on the way of being scolded and the level of acceptance.

*p < 0.05; **p < 0.01.

In Group 7, the mean self-esteem scores for “convinced, neither convinced nor unconvinced, or convinced” subjects ranged from 23.5 to 24.8 points, fitting into the average group, indicating no significant difference in the degree of acceptance. In Group 8, the mean self-esteem scores for “convinced, neither convinced nor unconvinced, or convinced” subjects were highest in “convinced” subjects at 25.4 points, followed by “neither convinced nor unconvinced” subjects at 24.7 points, and lowest in “unconvinced” subjects at 24.1 points, indicating a significant difference in the mean self-esteem score based on the degree of acceptance within Group 8.

The self-esteem score of subjects who were convinced by the way of being scolded is presented in Table 11.

Table 11. The self-esteem of subjects who were convinced by the way of being scolded.

**p < 0.01.

The mean self-esteem scores were compared for those who selected “convinced” for the 21 items regarding the way of being scolded. The score was highest in “scold on a whim” at 27.0 points, followed by “scold in a roundabout way (26.7 points),” “scold while simultaneously acknowledging good points (26.5 points),” and “scold only for the original reason (25.8 points),” whereas it was lowest in “scold without listening to what the scolded person has to say” at 22.1 points, indicating a significant difference in the mean self-esteem score depending on the way of being scolded among those subjects who were convinced by being scolded.

Moreover, according to a multiple comparison test, “scold without listening to what the scolded person has to say,” “scold on a whim,” “scold while simultaneously acknowledging good points,” and “scold only for the original reason” were significantly lower compared with “scold by persuasion,” “scold for a short time,” and “scold after listening to what the scolded person has to say.”

4. Discussion

Regarding the association between the way of being scolded and self-esteem, when comparing the mean self-esteem score in groups classified according to the way of being scolded, while “Group 1. Scold emotionally and according to parental ideology” indicated the highest score at 25.4 points and “Group 7. Child belittling” indicated the lowest score at 24.5 points, all mean scores by group were within the range of the average group, demonstrating no significant difference in the mean self-esteem scores between groups classified according to the way of being scolded. Therefore, it was suggested that there is no association between the way of being scolded and self-esteem.

Regarding the association between the way of being scolded and the degree of acceptance, when comparing the mean degree of acceptance score in groups classified according to the way of being scolded, the score in “Group 8. Good way of scolding” was 2.4 points, demonstrating a relatively higher score compared with the other groups. In addition, the number of subjects who were convinced greatly outweighed the number of those who were unconvinced only in Group 8, whereas the number of subjects who were unconvinced dominated the other groups. Based on this result, it was suggested that people are more likely to be convinced when being scolded by a good way of scolding.

Regarding the association between the degree of acceptance and self-esteem, when comparing the degree of acceptance in high, average, and low self-esteem groups, it was revealed that the degree of acceptance is higher in groups with higher self-esteem. This result suggested that self-esteem is built more when people are convinced by the way of being scolded.

Regarding the association between self-esteem scores in groups classified according to the way of being scolded and the degree of acceptance, the self-esteem score of subjects who were convinced by the way of being scolded in Group 2 was high, demonstrating a significant difference. At the same time, the self-esteem score of subjects who were unconvinced by the way of being scolded in Group 8 was high, demonstrating a significant difference. This result partially reflects the results shown in Table 5, which indicated a significant difference in the self-esteem score of Group 8 in which the degree of acceptance was the highest.

Regarding the association between the self-esteem of those who are convinced and the way of being scolded, when comparing the self-esteem score of only those who are convinced by group, although the score in “Group 1. Scold emotionally and according to parental ideology” was slightly higher than the other groups, there were no great differences observed between groups. Therefore, it was suggested that when people are convinced by the way of being scolded, the way of being scolded does not affect self-esteem.

Overall, the way of being scolded that builds high self-esteem is “Group 8. Good way of scolding,” which has a high degree of acceptance. However, as can be determined by the results of Table 11, the factor leading to the development of high self-esteem may be whether one is convinced by the way of being scolded, regardless of the way of being scolded.

Regarding the association between the reason for being scolded and self-esteem, when comparing the mean self-esteem score, all mean scores were within the range of the average group, demonstrating no significant difference in the mean self-esteem score depending on the reason for being scolded. Therefore, it was suggested that there is no association between the reason for being scolded and self-esteem.

5. Conclusion

According to the above, there was no association observed between the ways of being scolded and self-esteem. In other words, the ways of being scolded were not directly related to self-esteem. In addition, it was revealed that the reasons for being scolded are also not related to the self-esteem of each person. However, regarding the association between the degree of acceptance and self-esteem, it was demonstrated that the degree of acceptance is higher in groups with higher self-esteem. Based on these results, it was suggested that whether or not the person is convinced is related to self-esteem, as opposed to the way of being scolded or the reason for being scolded. It is clear that rebuking in and of itself does not directly affect the self-esteem of children, but rather, self-esteem is associated with acknowledgement on the side of the children who are being scolded. Thus, establishing good relationships with the people you are scolding is more important than the way of scolding. For example, by creating a good relationship with your child on a regular basis, their degree of acceptance when being scolded will be higher, leading to the establishment of higher self-esteem.

NOTES

*Corresponding author.

Cite this paper
Omasu, F. , Ueno, Y. , Sakazaki, Y. and Nishimura, Y. (2016) Association between the Way of Being Scolded and Self-Esteem in University Students. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 6, 84-95. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2016.62007.
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