It is evident that family is the primary platform which contributes in shaping an individual’s global development. With the advent of the modern era, researches have accounted for the family’s contribution in the development of one’s identity, and the various socialization units involved (Ozcinar, 2006). The numerous experiences that one accumulates including the dynamics of relationships have an impact on the global self-esteem of a person. These experiences (positive and negative) are usually carried over to adulthood which determines whether a person will have a moderate self-esteem or a relatively low sense of worth (feeling of success or failure). The present study was an attempt to shed light on the contributions of the family environment on the global self-esteem of young adults in the present scenario.
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Earlier researches have indicated that males (young adults) tend to possess significantly higher self-esteem than females. In the Indian society also it is seen that males tend to enjoy their freedom and possess higher rank in all frontiers of life, while females are expected to play the supporting role. This role allocation primarily prevails due to the cultural or societal standard based on the gender role construct/gender stereotype. The present research indicates that there is no difference in self-esteem between the male and female participants, which is in accordance with previous researches. This may be attributed to the fact that the societies in developing India are gradually changing, especially the urban Indian cities. Many females now can avail their rights to proper education, explore their intellectual potentialities and opportunities, develop their career and even have a say while choosing partners. This gradual improvement has helped in reducing the rigid rules set up by the patriarchal society which states that, women are only meant for household purposes, to some extent. Many females nowadays focus on their economic independence before settling down, hence, uplifting their sense of worth as compared to males.
In terms of family environment, the factor’s cohesion (for female) and organization (for men) have been found to be significantly contributing in the prediction of self-esteem of young adults. As mentioned earlier, females tend to face more discrimination right from birth than men on a societal ground. From, very early in life the preference for the male child is blatantly expressed be it through various reactions from the parents or immediate family members along with several other comparisons. It gets fixated in the mind of young females that they will live in their natal home till their marriage is fixed after which, they will have to settle in their new home (husband’s house), breaking ties with their former family and forming new bonds. This orientation that marriage is the ultimate goal in a girl’s life contributes in treating them differently, ultimately resulting in inferiority complex and feelings of low self-worth. Though it might not always be harsh but in an affectionate family also the girl lives under some stringent rules, resulting in lack of cohesiveness. A positive correlation between cohesiveness and self-esteem indicates that more the support and help of the family members, the more positive impact it will have on the self-esteem of young girls. As the societal flexibility has come to light in the present scenario, the degree of cohesiveness is increasing resulting in moderate self-esteem among females and no gender difference in the same regard.
From the very beginning it has been demarcated that, males have to play the role of the provider in the family. Males are meant to go outside and perform masculine tasks while females will take care of the family. But as the days are passing by, a noticeable change has been observed not only in the family unit but also in the work role between the male and female. People now prefer to live in nuclear family rather than the good old traditional joint family. Both men and women face obstacles in fulfilling their familial and occupational roles as both the frontiers become permeable while adapting the ideal egalitarian role. Females manage both their career and domestic life while males face new responsibilities toward their families. This spilling of responsibilities often result in ambiguities, conflict, stress, and doubting one’s self-worth/esteem. Organization within the family is seen to influence the self-esteem of the male participants positively. Pertaining to the above mentioned familial advancement, it has been observed that more the clarity in the organization structure in planning family activities and responsibilities, the higher the self-esteem in young male adults. Thus, they are adapting to their new roles seeking clear structuralism, devoid of any mess or confusion.
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