With the onset of adolescence there is an increase of elements that affect the shaping of goals and goal-oriented behaviors (Jarvinen & Nicholls, 1996). It is at this time that an individual begins to spend less amounts of time with their family and more time with their peers. The satisfaction with these peer relationships is important to the development of a good self-concept. Adolescents are more likely to have higher levels of self-esteem and academic achievement if they are accepted by their peers. Those who are less accepted tend to be at greater risk for problems in later social and psychological functioning (Parker & Asher, 1987). Academic performance and educational aspirations have also been shown to have an affect on self-concept (Richman, Clark, & Brown, 1985).
Difficulties during adolescence can result in adolescent depression, however it is known that the majority of teens are able to get through this period of development with a positive sense of personal identity (Powers, Hauser, & Kilner, 1989). It is a phase of life characterized by change in every aspect of individual development, from social to biological. Negative reactions to the normal onset of puberty can have a serious effect on the perceived body image and self-esteem of a young adolescent. Adolescents who report having anxiety and depression along with other symptoms like feeling sad, lonely and worthless are considered to have what is known as depressive syndrome (Peterson, et al., 1993). For a large number of the teens who experience depressive symptoms, the feeling may just be a temporary response to the changes they are experiencing. Recent literature has emphasized the need for parents, teachers and counselors to pay close attention to these symptoms, so that help can be offered in the early stages, which can lessen the chances of more serious problems in the future (Taylor, Miller, & Moltz, 1991). Although there may be existing counseling services available, many students are not made aware of them or simply do not ask for help (Culp, Clyman, & Culp, 1995).
One of the core characteristics of depression is a sense of hopelessness (Beck, Weissman, Lester, & Trexler, 1974). Snyder, et al. defines hope as a cognitive set that is composed of agency (goal-directed determination) , and pathways (planning of ways to meet goals). These components add up to the capacity for subjective evaluation of goal-related capabilities. There are individual differences of cognitive and emotional dispositions involving degrees of hope that can be measured using the Hope Scale. The components of this hope model are similar in comparison to the motivational theory of efficacy and outcome expectancies (Bandura, 1977, 1982); where efficacy refers to an individualÕs confidence in his or her ability to perform a behavior that will lead to a desired outcome (agency), and outcome refers to the belief that a certain behavior will produce a certain outcome (pathways). Higher levels of hope lead to greater perceptions of agency and pathways as people consider their goals. When compared with the specific area of college academic achievement, the results suggest that success in achievement appears to be related to higher hope (Snyder, et al.).
The goal of this study is to determine the relationship between self-concept developed in adolescence, level of hope and self-satisfaction with academic achievement among college students. There is an additional interest in the effects of adolescent depression and low self-esteem on goal direction and motivation in college; with hope that the findings may generate interest in the development of more programs for adolescents aimed at minimizing the stress involved with the factors that shape the individual self-concept.
I then conducted a Pearson product-moment correlation between the scores of the GESS and GPA. Results were r (68) = -.103, p > .01, which was not significant.
Finally, I conducted a Pearson product-moment correlation between the scores of the Hope Scale and GPA. Results were r (68) =.127, p > .01, which was also not significant.
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