1Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Ferdowsi University, Mashhad, IRAN
2Department of Psychology, Islamic Azad University, Torbat Jam Branch, IRAN
3Department of General Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Tehran University, Tehran, IRAN
Background: Based on researches done in recent decades, there are several therapeutic approaches to increase self-esteem and achievement motivation of students. Among these methods, we can refer to cognitive-behavioral therapy. The purpose of this research is assessment of effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral group training on self-esteem andachievement motivation of students. Methods: The research method was experimental with two- grouped pre-test and post- test design, experimental group and control group. The statistical population includes all students of high schools in Sarakhs (educational year 2012-2013). (N=85). Participants were chosen by available sampling method and randomly assigned to an experimental (15 boys) and a control group (15 boys). The experimental group received cognitive-behavioral group training through 8 sessions of 1 hour, while the control group received no training at all. For assessing the research variables, Alis Pop self- esteem questionnaire and Edwards’s achievement motivation questionnaire were done before and after completion of the trainings. The collected data were analyzed using independent and dependent T test by SPSS statistical software. Results: The study demonstrated that cognitive-behavioral training had positive effects on students’ self-esteem (P<0.001) and achievement motivation (P<0.001) in comparison to control group. Conclusions: In general, it can be concluded that cognitive- behavioral training were found effective in increasing self-esteem and achievement motivation.
Self- esteem is one of the main topics of current psychology that attracts the attention of many psychologists and researchers in a way that several theories discusses solutions to increase and train self-esteem. Based on theories and approaches in recent decades, several therapeutic approaches have addressed self-esteem and ways to increase it. Among these approaches, we can mention cognitive-behavioral therapy and reality therapy (1). Those who have good feeling about themselves can surpass conflicts easily, can resist negative pressures, and can well enjoy life. The key to many of people’s achievements is self-esteem. On the other hand, a lot of individuals’ problems arise from lack of self-esteem. Self-esteem is considered as one of the main determinative factors in forming behavioral and emotional patterns and is indicative of individual attitude toward himself and outside world.
It is a term that has a wide usage in psychology and general conversations. It is related to individual feeling toward validness and self-confirmation. According to Cooper Smith (1967), self-esteem is a kind of self- assessment which is indicative of some sort of confirmation or disapprobation attitude (3). In other words, just as other individual features, self-esteem is the extent of value we assign to ourselves. This feature can be acquired through conversing with others; it reflects people opinions toward us (4). Historical antiquity of this issue dates back to philosophers and scholars discussions on education in the past.
During the last century, many psychologists have acknowledged the theory that individuals need self-esteem. Its shortage or lack causes inharmony and/or lack of growth in other personality characteristics and may even lead to mental disease such as depression, timidity, fear, etc. (3). One of the variables related to self-esteem is “achievement motivation” (5). Achievement motivation refers to individual own attempt to reach his goals in social environment. Thus, in this framework, achievement motivation training includes direct training of intellectual and practical strategies of achievement through goal-setting and programming and applying these strategies (6). The use of achievement motivation as an intervention program is based on the notion that from the early youth, achievement is considered special due to several reasons. One of the reasons is to acquire social identity and prepare for social role-playing in adulthood. More important reason related to the changes in the structure of intelligence which causes individuals to be able to consider long-term outcomes of decisions and educational and career preferences from now on and on the other hand, to pragmatically consider the extent of educational and professional facilities(7).
One of the methods of increasing self-esteem and achievement motivation is behavioral- cognitive training. During the last 50, behavioral- cognitive therapy had been an important part of effective psychological therapies for many of behavioral problems. Behavioral- cognitive therapy includes different approaches that all put emphasis on the role of cognitive-behavioral processes in forming and continuity of psychological disorders, applying experimental approaches based on behaviorism and cognitivism to cure and control incorrect responsiveness. Hazlet considers cognitive-behavioral therapy as therapeutic intervention through decrease in abundance, patients’ intensity of uncompromised responses and behavioral-cognitive new skill trainings which in turn causes meaningful decrease in unintended behaviors and meaningful increase more compromised manners(8). Since it focuses on specified purpose and its results are rather assessable, Cognitive-behavioral therapy is one of the therapeutic methods that has designated several studies to itself. Moreover it suits those who are in search of short-term therapeutic alternatives which necesserily does not require medicine. One of the biggest advantages of cognitive-behavioral therapy is that it helps patients to foster adaptive skills that can be helpful and effective in future.Some patients assert that although they recognize that some of their thoughts are not logical and safe, this awarness does not help stopping them . It is worth mentioning that cognitive-behavioral therapy does not discuss identification of mental patterns , rather it focuses on the use of different types of strategies in order to help pateints beat these thoughts.Among these strategies we can refer to daily note- taking, role-playing and relaxation (9).
With respect to the above mentioned isssues, several studies have been done in relation to reseasrch variables. For instance, , in a research on the effect of cognitive therapy on the increase of self-esteem Warien (1998) concludes that comparing with other trainings(emotional and mental),cognitive-behavioral trainings have more effect on the increase of self-esteem(10). In a research on the role of cognitive-behavioral group trainings on the increase of self-esteem among orphan teenagers housing in Behzisti dorms , Ghorbani (1383) also concluded that cognitive- behavioral group training has been more effective than other group trainings(11).
In a research done with the purpose of studying and comparing the effectiveness of the role of these two methods : cognitive-behavioral and parents’ training on the increase of students’ self-esteem , the study results reflect that cognitive-behavioral training , increase female students’ self-esteem effecticely.On the other hand, parents’ training has been effective on the male students’ self-esteem. The two mentioned methods simultaneously increase all dimentions of self-esteem including educational, familial, social and physical self-esteem and the change in one dimension is not more significant than others (12). Another research shows that two methods of cognitive- behavioral training and reality training have positive effect on the increase of self- esteem (13, 14).
Hashemi (1380) applied self-esteem training to high school students and recognized that this type of training leads to students’ self-esteem and self-belief growth (15). Another studies titled “the efficiency of cognitive-behavioral trainings in learning disorder parts” concludes that cognitive-behavioral trainings have had positive impact on all the reaserch variables, i.e. it has led to scholastic acheivement, more self- confidence,less hyperactivity,decrease in reactive defiance in students with learning disorder. In other words, cognitive-behavioral strategies have been emphazied in learning disoredr parts(16).
Poorsina (1382) did a research to compare self-esteem, depression and scholastic achievement of normal and divorced- parents’ students in Tehran secondary school. The results shows that there is a significant difference between normal and divorced- parents’ students’ self- esteem and scholastic achievement(17). However, schools principals give opportunity to all students to make progress and contribute to activities that lead to the increase in their self- esteem. Achievements increase self-esteem while scholastic failure and school dropout cause depression. Difficult tasks and high expectations increase self- doubt in early teenage days. Progress in mental skills and increase in consciousness also raise positive and negative feelings in individuals.
Therefore, we can help people with low acheivement motivation by cognitive- behavioral approach so that they identify their weaknesses, reinfoce their self- confidence and have a good feeling toward themselves. With the help of this approach we can help students to accpet themselves the way they are and try more to increase their acheivement motivation and self-esteem.Thus, in the current study we try to discuss this question: do cognitiove- behavioral trainings affect students acheivement motivation and self-esteem?
Current study was experimental with two- grouped pre-test and post- test design, experimental group and control group. In this research cognitive- behavioral training is considered as independent variable and self-esteem and achievement motivation is considered as dependent variable.
Statistical population and sampling method
The statistical population includes all male high schools students of Sarakhs (educational year 2012-2013) housing in dorms (N=85). There were 85 students from which 30participants were chosen by available sampling method and they are randomly assigned to experimental group (15 boys) and control group (15 boys). The research was done on male students since the researcher had some limitations in implementing his trainings in female dorms.
Self- esteem questionnaire
In this resereach we make use of Alis Pop self-esteem test. This test contains 60 questions that assess self- esteem in five general, scholastic, familial, physical and social scales. Furthermore,
It has a pathometer scale. Final coefficient of this test was calculated 85% by Emami and Fatehizadeh (19) (1379), 73% by Mazaheri (20) (1382) and 81% by the researcher.
Acheivenment motivation questionnare
This 15- question questionnaire was drawn from Edwards. Since he needed only 15 items, he chose some articles from Moori list that their content were related to intended needs. These 15 needs are as follows: achievement, conformity, discipline, ostentation, self-old concept, dependence, analytic abilities, love-seeking, submission, love, change, perseverance, heterosexuality and aggressiveness (21). Final coefficient of this test was calculated 79% by Karimian (22) (1374) and 83% by the researcher.
Research implementation method
Independent variable in this study includes 8 cognitive- behavioral training sessions on experimental group and is done step by step in 8 one-hour sessions. cognitive- behavioral sessions are as follows: Introducing members to each other , discussing rules and laws that dominate the training, introducing the terms :self- esteem and acheivement motivation, discussing the obstacles to self- esteem and acheivement motivation, the concept of self- acceptance, studying the documents, problem- solving method, effective communication and summerizing nad concluding the post-test.
After choosing the samples and forming two 15 –person experimental and control groups, pre-test was taken randomly. After the pre- test experimental interventions applied to experimental group in 8 one-hour sessions. In order to restrain troublesome variables, no education and trainings was done to increase students’ self- esteem and acheivement motivation by dorm cunsultaion center. Training sessions procedures were as follows: firstly, in each session a summary of the previous sessions was told by the help of group members. Then, the teacher taught new subjects and at the end of session students were required to take note of important issues and subjects. In this research, one of the reserachers filmed the class during students participations and teaching processes; by sending the files and films weekly to the teacher and getting necessary feedbacks, educators attempted to render more comprehensive and efficient cognitive- behavioral program. There was no intervention of control group. A week after the end of training sessions , post-test (self- esteem and acheivement motivation) was taken from both groups in the same condition.
We made use of dependent T and independent T tests and descriptive statistics methods in order to analyze the data and compare average score difference in self- esteem and acheivement motivation pre-test/post –test in both control and experimental groups. SPSS statistical software was used to do statistical operations.
Firstly, descriptive information such as average, standard deviation, research minimum and maximum variable score were studied in experimental and control groups (table 1). The most self- esteem average in pre-test belongs to control group, while in post- test it belongs to experimental group. Moreover, the most achievement motivation average in pre- test belongs to control group while in post-test to experimental group.
Table 1. Descriptive indexes of research variables
Post - test
In the next step, we made use of dependent T test to specify the effect of cognitive- behavioral trainings on dorm students’ self- esteem and achievement motivation in experimental group. Results are shown in table 2 and table 3.
Table 2. Students’ self-esteem pre-test and post-test average score difference with respect to dependent T test.
Based on above table results,T test rate for studying students’ self-esteem pre-test and post-test average score difference equals 9.25 and significance level equals less than 0.01. Therefore, we can conclude that cognitive- behavioral trainings affect stuents’ self- esteem.
Table 3. students’ acheivement motivation pre-test and post-test average score difference with respect to depandant T test
Based on above table results,T test rate for studying students’ acheivement motivation pre-test and post-test average score difference equals 4.50 and significance level equals less than 0.01. Therefore, we can conclude that cognitive- behavioral trainings affect students’ acheivement motivation.
We made use of independent T test in order to investigate self- esteem and acheivement motivation difference significance of students who receive cognitive- behavioral trainings and those who doesn’t. The results are reprted in table 4, 5.
Table 4. T test results of students’ self-esteem with respect to receive cognitive- behavioral trainings
Based on above table results,T test rate for studying the difference in students’ self – esteem equals 7.7 and significance level equals less than 0.01. Therefore, we can conclude that there is a great difference significance in self-esteem level between students who receive cognitive- behavioral trainings and students who doesn’t receive such trainings.
Table 5. independent T results of students’ acheivement motivation respect to receive cognitive- behavioral trainings
Based on above table results,T test rate for studying the difference in students, acheivement motivation equals 4.14 and significance level equals less than 0.01. Therefore, we can conclude that there is a great difference significance in acheivement motivation level between students who receive cognitive- behavioral trainings and students who doesn’t receive such trainings.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of cognitive- behavioral trainings on dorm students’ self-esteem and acheivement motivation.research samples were male students 46.66% of whom were 16 years old or younger, 43.33% were 17 and 10% were 18 years old or older. Tehir parents’ educational levels were 76.66% with no diploma, diploma and associate’s degree 21.67, bachelor’s degree and higher 1.66% . students’ parents’ professions were self-employed/ house-wife 58.33%, employee 11.66% and worker 30%. Therefore, most of the sample groups were 16 year-old or younger students whose parents were were self-employed/ house-wife and with no diploma.
Analyzing the data and findings showed that cognitive- behavioral trainings can make change in the students’ self-esteem and acheivement motivation scores; i.e. we can claim that the applied method was effective on experimental group.Studying experimental group scores after the training courses showed statistical difference significance in students’ self-esteem scores in comparison with control group. As a result, there is a great difference significance in self-esteem level between students who receive cognitive- behavioral trainings and students who doesn’t receive such trainings.
These results coordinate with Ghorbani(1383), Amani et al. (1385), Sardar Abadi (1388) and warrien (1988) findings regarding the effectiveness of cognitive- behavioral trainings on the increase of self-esteem. Therefore, we can conclude that those who have high self-esteem can better cope with different situations than those with low self-esteem. In other words, these individuals are less stressful in different situations and are less emotional, depressed and aggressive. Those with low self-esteem suffer from aggressiveness, behavioral disorder and grief. Moreover, these individuls complain about insomnia and psychic- physical diseases. Self-esteem especially appears in mutual transactions: those who believe in themselves, love others, and accept their weaknesses can find more and better friends(23).
Studying experimental group scores after the traing courses showed statistical difference significance in students’ acheivement motivation scores in comparison with control group.As a result, there is a great difference significance in acheivement motivation level between students who receive cognitive- behavioral trainings and students who doesn’t receive such trainings. These results coordinate with Zare Moghadam(1388) findings regarding the effectiveness of cognitive- behavioral trainings on scholastic acheivement , having more self-confidence, less hyperactivity and decrease in reactive defiance in students with learning disorders. It also coordinates with Poorsina (1382), Ranidon(1988), Barton, Dielman and Cattell(1986), Soto (1989) and Fontaine(1994) findings(24,25,26,27).
Therefore, in above-mentioned researches, the amount of cognitive- behavioral trainings effectiveness on the teenagers’ self-esteem and achievement motivation increase is significantly high and it indicates that cognitive- behavioral trainings affect consultation and education to a great extent. We can use these approaches to obviate psychological problems and behavioral disorder. As a result of intense life nowadays, individuals face different interpersonal and social situations that we can train teenagers through these courses to respect both themselves and others and effectively make communications and progress.
As statistical reults show, cognitive- behavioral trainings increase students’ self-esteem and acheivement motivation and it indicates the efficacy of this approach in self-esteem and acheivement motivation increase. Thus, with reference to what mentioned before and reseaches, we can discern the reason of students’ self-esteem and acheivement motivation increase based on cognitive- behavioral trainings. Since achievement in social and educational performance require self-confidence, high motivation and reinforcing internal incentives. These characteristics give students the opportunity to function actively in different institutional arenas such as interaction-group works and doing assignments and on the whole in problem- solving tasks. Schools consultation centers play an important role in improving educational and social performance, giving self-confidence and reinforcing students’ motivations. Consultors can teach students ways to increase their self-esteem and acheivement motivation; in this way they help to prevent behavioral problems and scholastic disorders. Furthrmore, it is suggested that cunsultors make use of cognitive- behavioral group trainings in schools especially high schools and replace individual consultation with group consultation.further studies on stability of training effects is also required. Finally, it should be mentioned that current sample study only relates to male students of magnet schools. Therefore, there were some limitations to generalize findings to female students in other levels and whole male stdents housing in dorms.
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