Gender Differences in Self Esteem among Young Adults of Raipur, Uttar Pradesh, India

Review Article

Austin J Womens Health. 2016; 3(1): 1018.

Gender Differences in Self Esteem among Young Adults of Raipur, Uttar Pradesh, India

Chaurasia Nupur1 and Meerambika Mahapatro2*

1Amity Institute of Public health, Amity University, IndiaA

2Department of Social Sciences, National Institute of Health and Family Welfare , Baba Gangnath Marg, New Delhi-67, India

*Corresponding author: Meerambika Mahapatro, Department of Social Sciences, National Institute of Health and Family Welfare, Baba Gangnath Marg, New Delhi-67, India

Received: August 06, 2015; Accepted: January 18, 2016; Published: January 20, 2016


Study Objective: To understand the association between gender and self esteem among the young adults. The paper would also focus on how experiential and demographic factors affecting self esteem.

Material and Methods: A descriptive cross sectional study was conducted among the young adults of age group 20-25 years Continuing education and residing in Raipur, Uttar Pradesh, India. All the young adults were considered of the area. A total of 203 respondents were selected out of which 110 were male respondents and 93 were female respondents.

A semi-structured questionnaire was prepared to assess self-esteem and applied along with the Rosenberg self esteem scale consisting of 25 items. Qualitative data were thematically analysed.

Results: Self esteem of the men was found out to be significantly higher than that of women. Education of respondents, education of respondent’s mother, family income, caste and number of siblings were associated with self esteem. There are broader and over arching reasons behind low self esteem whose implications go beyond individual and psychological situations further delay in attitude to compete with the outer world and put a great impact.

Conclusion: Attitudes of family members towards girl child should be changed to enhance gender neutrality atmosphere at home and in the society as whole. Policy efforts must address sex specific needs to elaborate further on the areas of gender inequalities.

Keywords: Self esteem; Gender differences; Young adults; Rosenberg scale


Gender-based beliefs are mostly derived from gender role stereotypes which socially constructed roles and relationship, personal traits, values and behaviour on the differential basis of sexes existing in every society [1]. Young adulthood is a time span in which the individuals are assigned new roles and responsibilities in the society including job, marriage, parenthood, etc and expected to fulfil new roles and adjust with these changes on their own. A conflict situation arises as they are not able to fulfil their assigned roles and responsibilities, and avoid taking advice of elders as they don’t want to be labelled as immature [2]. This is the phase of life where the young adult judges themselves with their inner conscious and the outer world which intern help to develop self esteem [3]. Self esteem is defined as a combination of self worth and self respect [4] which is developed as a result of positive and negative experiences in one’s personal life [5]. In India, men enjoy power, status and freedom than women starting from the field of politics, sports going down to the domestic level [3]. In general it is reported that women are more emotional, sensitive, well cultured as compared to men [6]. Adolescence and young adulthood is a vulnerable phase of an individual’s life in which social comparison is also high that puts a great impact on self esteem. The individual during this age is in the influential phase and experiencing ups and downs in various realms of life [7].

Self esteem adversely affects physical and mental health. The clinical literature suggests that low self esteem is associated with depression, hopelessness, and suicidal tendencies which can further lead to attempt of suicide [8]. People with high self esteem are happier and have less chances of depression when compared with the individuals having low self esteem [9]. The defensive nature of self esteem is very evident in studies showing stress and physical disease in which self esteem protect the person from fear and hesitation. This is seen in the chronically ill patients that high self esteem in combination with close relationships, protect from depressive symptoms. Self esteem also helps to cope up with disease and survival after surgery [8]. Previous studies reported that men have higher self esteem compared to women [2,10-14]. There are few cross sectional and longitudinal studies which suggest that self esteem increases during young adulthood [15]. It is reported that students of low parental income have low self esteem as compared to other students [13]. Mother’s education and education of the respondents also put a great impact on self esteem of the individuals and are positively related [14]. The studies done previously put forward that a significant difference in self esteem is seen in the individuals with different caste category. It was found that tribal students have low self esteem when compared to students belonging to upper caste [16]. The paper tries to understand the association between gender and self esteem among the young adults. The paper would also focus on how experiential and demographic factors affecting self esteem.

Material and Methods

Study design

The design of the study was descriptive cross sectional in nature.


An inclusion criterion for the study was young adults in the age group of 20-25 years continuing their education and residing in area of Raipur. Exclusion criteria was the young adults of 20-25 years not studying and not residing in that area or not present during the field work or refused to participate in the study.


All the young adults in the age group of 20-25 residing in Raipur were considered for the study. A total of 203 young adults’ respondents were selected out of which 110 were men and 93 were women respondents based on the inclusion and the exclusion criteria.

Research tool and field work

A semi-structured questionnaire on demographic information like gender, education, mother education, family income (per month), and qualitative questions like factors contributing to boost self esteem, satisfaction related to material and non-material culture etc was prepared. It was pretested on 20 percent sample for its reliability and validity. The questionnaire was prepared in English language. A 10 item survey that includes Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale (RSES) was used to ascertain information on self esteem. A written consent was taken and then the questionnaire was administered to the participants. The 10 item likert scale was answered on a four point scale- from strongly agree to strongly disagree. It was used to evaluate the self esteem of the respondents. The total of the score varies from the lowest of a 0 to the maximum of 30. On the basis of the total score, self esteem was divided into three categories as (a) Low- if total score is less than 15, (b) medium/moderate/average self esteem- if total score is between 15-25 and (c) high self esteem- if total score is greater than 25. Each respondent was contacted and suitable time was taken on first visit for interview.

Statistical analysis

The data was coded to ensure the confidentiality. The open ended questions were thematically analysed. Collected data was tabulated and graphs were made in Microsoft excel sheet and analysed using the software ‘Statistical Package for Social Science’ (SPSS). The entered data was verified and checked for data errors during coding and data entry. The group characteristics were presented in frequency and proportions. Chi-square test was used to compare the self esteem of men and women. P value less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant with 95% of CI.


Analysis was done on 203 participants to understand gender differences in self esteem among the young adults considering demographic variables like gender, education of the respondents, mother’s education, caste and family income.

Factors contributing to boost up self esteem

An open ended question was asked on what factors contribute to boost self esteem. The responses were categorised as personality, socialisation, confidence, achievement and positive attitude. The analysis revealed 16 percent of the respondent reported that socialisation, confidence and achievements are equally contributing factor to boost self esteem while personality and positive attitude contribute to 10.34percent and 13.30 percent respectively. However, 27.6 percent 3.87 did not respond.

Self-esteem and Gender

It was hypothesized that there would be significant gender differences in self-esteem levels of men and women. It was found that the mean self esteem score of men were 19.35±4.24 and that of women were 19.19±3.28. (Chi-square value 32.04, P value 0.031 i.e. p<0.05). The result shows in accordance to the expected norms.

Self esteem and Education

Education of respondent was divided in 2 groups, graduate and post graduate. The mean self esteem level of the graduate respondents was 19±3.87 and that of post graduates was 19.86±3.50. From the data (Table-1) it was observed that low self esteem is more in graduate students (13.01%) than post graduate students (7.14%). There was a statistical significance between self esteem and education (p<0.05) of respondent and mother’s education at 95% of CI. It was reported that mothers who were highly educated (graduate/post graduate) their children had high self esteem as compared to the mothers who were less educated (=12th).

Citation: Nupur C and Mahapatro M. Gender Differences in Self Esteem among Young Adults of Raipur, Uttar Pradesh, India. Austin J Womens Health. 2016; 3(1): 1018.