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The influence of self-esteem on the process of formation of the meaning of life of high school students
An important role in the self-determination of a person is played by the process of awareness of the purpose and meaning of life. Understanding the meaning of life can be considered one of the main criteria for personal self-determination (Safin, Nikonov, 1984), and the presence of interest in the meaning of life and its active discussion can be considered as one of the parameters that determine the actively ongoing process of self-determination (Ginsburg, 1996).
The process of self-determination acquires particular relevance in early adolescence. The most important component of this process is building a model of your own future. At the same time, senior students' ideas about their future, being a perspective look at their own personality, are based on an awareness of the purpose of life and its meaning. Of particular importance in youth is the problem of the meaning of life in general and of its existence in particular, many researchers have noted. So, I.S. Cohn notes that in early adolescence, the abandonment of the childhood dream of personal immortality and the acceptance of the inevitability of death makes a person seriously think about the meaning of life, about how best to live a long time allotted to him. Therefore, among senior schoolchildren, the value-oriented activity of consciousness, the search for the meaning of life, comes first. As shown by L.I. Bozovic, this is due to the formation of, on the one hand, a generalized idea of the world as a whole, and on the other, a generalized idea of oneself, which leads to the need to reduce this into a single semantic system and thereby find the meaning of their existence.
Thus, in the process of searching for the meaning of life by high school students, their self-image plays an important role. This aspect is considered by many researchers. So, V.F. Safin and T.P. Nikonov, analyzing the process of self-determination of personality, write that the internal plan for finding the meaning of life, for adopting global life goals is dictated by the correlation of four substructures of self-determination of personality, and one of these substructures is self-esteem that answers the question “What am I?”.
V.E. Chudnovsky emphasizes the important role of taking into account his features and capabilities in shaping the meaning of life. Considering the adequacy of the meaning of life, the author notes the importance of such a characteristic as realism, which is determined by the correspondence of the meaning of life, on the one hand, to the objective conditions of existence, and on the other, to individual capabilities of a person. This characteristic is most clearly manifested in professional self-determination. “Professional aspirations,” the author writes, “which do not take into account the uniqueness of individual characteristics and capabilities of a person, contribute to the formation of an inadequate meaning of life, which seems to reinforce these aspirations, which leads to life conflicts and negatively affects the entire process of becoming a person” (Chudnovshy, 1999) . Based on the foregoing, it is of interest to study the issue of the influence of self-esteem of high school students on the formation of their sense of life as the core formation of the process of self-determination.
We conducted a study to identify the influence of self-esteem on some aspects of the process of formation of the meaning of life among high school students. The study involved 35 students of the 10th grade of school-lyceum No. 320. The study of the self-esteem of the subjects was carried out using the modified Dembo – Rubinstein technique. On each scale, it was required to note three positions that reflect real self-esteem, the desired and achievable level.
To identify the attitude of high school students to the problem of the meaning of life, we used: 1) the method of M.R. Ginzburg "Value projection of the future", which allows you to determine the significance of the problem of the meaning of life in comparison with other value orientations; 2) the methodology of H. Niemi "Reflections on the meaning of life" proposed by M.R. Ginz-burg to determine the relevance of the question of the meaning of life. We also used the "Test of meaning-life orientation" YES.
We give some results. By the method of M.R. Ginzburg “Value projection of the future” we found that for a group of students with low self-esteem, the significance of the problem of the meaning of life is much higher than for groups with high and medium self-esteem. Moreover, this indicator for groups with high (3.58) and average (3.14) self-esteem does not significantly differ, but it turns out to be significantly lower than for the group with low self-esteem (4.35).
By the method of H. Niemi “Reflections on the meaning of life”, we obtained the following results: the average value of the indicator of the significance of the problem of the meaning of life in the sample is 0.58; the value of this indicator for the group with low self-esteem turned out to be significantly higher than the average value for the entire sample and other self-esteem groups. So, according to the results of two methods, it was revealed that for high school students with low self-esteem, the significance of the problem of the meaning of life is much higher than for their peers with higher self-esteem. Correlation analysis also showed that the significance of the problem of the meaning of life for a high school student correlates with his self-esteem, and it is most closely associated with the “happiness” scale.
A possible explanation of these results can be found in S.L. Fran. Reflecting on why for some people the question of the meaning of life is significant, while other people dismiss it, he suggested that success in fulfilling one's interests, “ability to settle in life” is inversely proportional to the attention paid to the question of the meaning of life. So, he writes, “the calmer the more measured and ordered the external life, the more it is occupied by current earthly interests and has good luck in their implementation, the deeper the spiritual grave in which the question of the meaning of life is buried”. In accordance with this reasoning, it can be assumed that people who are more critical of themselves or less successful in activities with a low self-esteem formed on this basis more often think about “global” issues, therefore the problem of the meaning of life and the purpose of their existence is more significant for them.
A correlation study of the relationship between JI and indicators of meaningfulness of life (according to D.A. Leont'ev) showed that the largest number of correlations is characteristic of the subscale “productivity of life” or “satisfaction with self-realization”. This subscale significantly correlates with CO on the scales “mind”, “happiness”, “self-satisfaction”, with total and average CO. Thus, the higher the high school student evaluates himself in the present, the more productive and meaningful the lived part of life seems to him.
Of greatest interest to us is the “goals in life” scale, which characterizes the subjects' future goals that give meaningfulness, direction, and a temporary perspective to life. Indicators on this scale significantly correlate with the ideal component of CO. So, high school students with a high level of “desired self” have a more meaningful time perspective, certain goals in the future. But it should be borne in mind that this situation is favorable for personal development in the event that plans for the future are supported in the present, if they are supported by personal responsibility for their implementation. If the model of the future is built on goals divorced from the present, then it will not be productive. The locus of control of the I significantly correlates with the height of real CO on the scales of “mind”, “self-confidence”, and average CO. High RM is associated with the idea of oneself as a person who is able to build his life in accordance with his goals.
So, according to the results of the study, we can conclude that self-esteem plays an important role in the process of formation of the meaning of life in high school students. Further studies in this direction are of interest, including the study of the significance of such important characteristics of self-esteem as its adequacy and stability.
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