Date of Defense

12-2-2013

Date of Graduation

12-2013

Department

Family and Consumer Sciences

First Advisor

Bryce Dickey

Second Advisor

Richard Szwaja

Third Advisor

Sherria Taylor

Abstract


An individual’s personal appraisal of themselves their abilities and their worthiness combine to form their self-esteem level (Mruk, 2006). An individual’s self-esteem level fluctuates throughout the life span and is affected by many different influences, experiences, and activities. Low self-esteem is associated with several negative outcomes including; depression, suicide, participation in risky coping behaviors, disordered eating, anxiety, and relational aggression (Biro, Striegel-Moore, Padgett & Bean, 2006). Adolescence is a period extremely susceptible to declines in self-esteem with females being the most at risk (Harter, 2012). Understanding that an individual with low self-esteem faces a higher probability of facing personal struggles creates an opportunity to augment self-esteem levels and improve the lives of those most susceptible through focused curriculum. The following curriculum, Self-Esteem Among the Trees (iSat) was created to support individuals most at risk for self-esteem declines. The iSat curriculum targets preadolescent females and educates them in fundamental areas to maintain healthy self-esteem or insulate from overall declines during adolescence. The iSat program specifically incorporates media awareness, coping skills, critical thinking, goal setting, and authentic interactions with others into the curriculum. A unique component of the iSat program is the natural/wilderness environment utilized for curriculum dissemination. Utilizing a natural environment free of technological distractions allows the individual to internalize the program material more affectively (Kaplan, 1995) enhancing the overall program curriculum. The iSat curriculum provides preadolescent females the opportunity to enhance self-esteem knowledge and practice skills to decrease the severity of self-esteem fluctuations.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted

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