Self-Esteem in Interpersonal Relationship – Its Influence Among Students

Self-Esteem in Interpersonal Relationship – Its Influence Among Students.

Self-Esteem in Interpersonal Relationship  – All individuals through the socialization process and social interaction develop a sense of self, a fairly definite notion of who and what they are. This conception of self consists primarily of the subjective views of how we feel about ourselves. Our sense of self develop, the manners in which others view about us. Cooley, (1902), Mead, (1934).

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According to Sullivan (1953), development of personality and identity is a sole concern of the family. Starting with a strong psychoanalytic orientation he or she eventually broadened his or her focus to include inter-personal relations. Thus, to him, our concept of self identity and self-esteem are formed through out interactions with significant others, typically parents, Siblings and peers/ Sullican (1953), Parent of course have the major share of responsibility for socializing the child. If parents behave towards the child as through he or she is worthwhile the child is likely to develop a positive self-image and a sense of self worth. This sense of self. In turn provides the emotional resistance that all people need if they are to persevere through conflicts, defeats, interpersonal relationships and many other stresses that may be encountered in living. Those parents who do not see their child as a worthwhile person and who belittle or antagonize their child, may causes the child to develop a negative self image, to make statements such as “I am worthless”, if I try, I will only fail”.

It seems that in interpersonal relationship, the more positively we evaluate ourselves, the more we will see ourselves as deserving, the more capable we will be in participating in interpersonal relationship. Therefore, it is assumed that, a certain degree of self-esteem is needed in an interpersonal relationship; the high self-esteem individuals feel sure and confident n themselves in human relationship. The low self-esteem individuals feel inadequate in most ways and do not feel they have much value to give to another human being, hence, it may not be out of place for them to find it difficult to accept positive evaluations from other people. Infact, negative remarks and actions from others may be easily accepted Kersten and Kersten, (1988). Thus, because of these feelings of inferiority and inadequacy, these individuals may not see themselves as worthy of loving behaviours from others, receiving compliments even become difficult for them. This non-acceptance of attributes prevent others from getting close to them. On the other hand, individuals with positive self-esteem can permit themselves to become vulnerable and disclose personal feelings, initiate investments and make commitments, all with the possibility of not being rejected by other people. Low self-esteemed individual can avoid becoming truly known to others in order to avoid rejection.

Interpersonal Relationship exists when two persons come in contact, establish and maintain mutual understanding between them. Biesket (1987) states that, the essence of relationship has been variously called interplay, mutual emotional exchange,  an attitude, a dynamic interaction a medium, a connection between two persons. In social interaction many of us drift into relationship with others without being aware of just how and why it developed. However, few people continue in relationship with others without reasons, on the other hand, there is something that brings people into contact with others and some reasons why the relationship continues. In choosing our friends, in falling in love and in establishing and trying to maintain close relationship, we all respond to specific determinants. Among these determinants is self-esteem.

The term self-esteem has been defined in several numbers of ways based on individual differences and their level of perception. Concept through which one approves, accepts and regards his or herself. It is a persons evaluation of his or her character and accomplishment, an attribute possessed by every person but to a varying extent.

Damon (1983) defined self-esteem as an effective evaluation of oneself based on his or her general trait. Self-esteem is more related to the term “Self-concept which Hall and Linzey (1970) defined as attitudes, feelings, perception and evaluation of self as an object. The act deals with people’s attitudes about themselves, their picture of the ways they look and act, the impact the believed they have on others and their perceived traits, abilities, foibles and weakness. This concept also relate to the executive function processes by which the individual manages, copes, thinks, remembers perceives and plans about their survival.

The concept of self-esteem is associated with cultural guidelines, your own observations, downward comparison, attribution style, categorizing stereotypes, prejudice. Cultural guidelines: the society in which we are brought up defined what is “good” and “bad” in personality and behavior. Nigerian culture for example tends to put a premium on individuality, competitive success, strength and skill. These cultural values influence the way interpret our behaviour. Understandably we are more likely to make distortion in areas that our culture consider important. Your own observations of your own behaviour are obviously a major source of information about what you are like. Early in childhood we start observing our own behaviour and drawing conclusions about ourselves. You remember how often children make statements about who is the tallest, who can run faster or who can swing the highest. Obviously, our observations of ourselves do not take place in a social vacuum. Even in early childhood they involve in comparison theory propose that people need to compare themselves with others in order to gain insight into their own behaviour Festinger, (1954), Goethals and Darley, (1977), Wood, (1989). Downward comparisons: this is a defensive tendency to compare ourselves with someone whose troubles are serious than our own. Once threat enters the pictures however, it seems to change the type of person we choose to compare ourselves with Fiske and Taylor, (1991), which is when we feel threatened; we frequently choose to compare ourselves with someone who is worse off than we are wills, (1981). Suppose you get a “C” on an exam through you are not happy about it, you may tell yourself, “well, at least I didn’t get a D or an f”. Attributional style: refers to the tendency to use similar causal explanations for a wide variety of events in one’s life. According to Martin Seligman (1990) exhibit, to varying degrees, one of two attributional styles either a pessimistic explanatory styles or an optimistic explanatory style has a tendency to attribute setbacks to external, unstable and specific factors, this can help people to discount their setbacks and this maintain positive expectations for the future and a favourable self-image. An optimistic attributional style, which promotes active goal directed behaviour even in the aftermath of failures and disappointments, is associated with students, academic success and salespersons’ job success (Fiske and Taylor, 1991). In contrast, people with a pessimistic explanatory style tend to attribute their setbacks to internal, stable and global (or pervasive) factors. These attributions make them feel had about themselves and pessimistic about their ability to handle challenges in the future. Unfortunately, a pessimistic explanatory style appears to foster passive behaviour and to make one more vulnerable to learned helplessness and depression peteson and Seligman, (1987), Sweency, Anderson, and Bailey, (1986). Categorizing: people frequently categorize others on the basis of race, sex, age, sexual orientation and so fourth. We perceive people like ourselves to be members of our in-group (“us”) and those who are dissimilar to be in the out group (“them”). Three important things result from such categorizing. First, we usually have more favourable attitudes towards, in-group member than out-group members Tayel, Billing, Bundy and Flament, (1971). Second, we usually see out-group members being much more similar to each other than they really are, whereas we see members of the in-group as unique individuals. A third result of categorizing is that it heightens the visibility of out-group members when there are only a few of them within a large group.

In other words, minority status in a group makes more salient the quality that distinguishes the person-race, sex, whatever. Stereotype: as Lingreen (1993), views it is a generalized and valueladen impression that people of one group use to characterized those of others. The term was originally used by Lipman (1992) in a pejorative sense to apply to attitude constructs, that are factually incorrect, rigidly inflexible and the result of illogical reasoning. Stereotype interferes with others when they lead us to make assumptions inconsistent with the kind of behaviour usually exhibited by the target person.

Baron and Byne (1987), define prejudice as an attitude (usually negative) towards a member of some group based solely on their membership in that group. In other words, when we state that a given person is prejudiced against, the members of some social group, we generally mean that he or she tends to evaluate its members in some characteristic manner (usually negative) merely because they belong to a specific social group. Their individual traits or behaviour play little roles, they are liked or disliked simple because they belong to a specific social group. Although prejudice can have positive or negative meaning, depending on the way the target person is perceived, it has become customay to use this word principally in negative way in as much negative prejudice has damaging effects not only on interpersonal relationship, but particularly on persons self-esteem it is common knowledge that the best way to maintain or increase prejudice against individual is to avoid contact with him and that the best way to reduce prejudice is to come in contact.

Self-esteem is global evaluation of one’s worth. As social beings people have a natural tendency for interpersonal relationship and thus, identify with those groups of people towards who they hold favourable attitudes, likewise, they tend to avoid people who are viewed unfavorable.

Statement of the Problem

This study is underscored by an interest in the dynamic of the variables mentioned. It has generated a lot of questions and curiosity in the research, why do people enter into relationship and it would not be incompatible to each other by having different interests and values specific questions the it could be that, they lack the potentials and skills to avoid and resolve misunderstandings and conflicts between themselves? Could it be attributed to the fact that they do not really open or disclose to each other certain personal feelings and opinions that will help their relationships stand and grow? Why do most undergraduates break off relationship they initiated in their first year before they graduate? Does partner really understand him or herself by assessing his or her potentialities evaluating him or herself to know his or her personal worth and value? Could it be that individuals in relationship continue to blame and project their failures in life to the other in relationship? To what extent does self-esteem really influence the ability to thrive interpersonal relationship?

This study therefore tries to investigate variables on interpersonal relationship among Ebonyi State University Students. The investigation of self-esteem as a contributory factor in one’s ability to maintain an interpersonal relationship may offer a useful insight into whether personality variables are attributed to the inconsistencies we have in student’s interpersonal relationships.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to investigate whether the self esteem of Ebonyi State University students affect their attainment of interpersonal relationship with one another. It also seeks to highlight that difference in ability influence interpersonal relationship could be related to self-esteem of the individuals involved.

Operational Definitions

Self-Esteem: This refers to one’s assessment of oneself in terms of positive or negative evaluation. Therefore, a person with a positive self-concept will have high self-esteem and a person with a negative self-concept will have low self-esteem.

Interpersonal Relationship: It is a socio-psychological phenomenon in which at least two persons are involved. In this case, it is relationship between peers.

Self-Concept: A multi-dimension construct which refers to the way an individual perceives, feels, think about and evaluate him or herself.

Theoretical Review

The self is a product of social interaction and tends to be defined in terms of group membership. Self esteem consists mainly of comparison of self with references groups to which he or she aspires to belong.

The Psychosocial Theory of Erikson

Erikson’s (1963) psychosocial theory is essentially a development theory that incorporates the growth of personality in relation to other person’s as a member of a society from infancy throughout life. It is the formation over time of a social self, a self that identifies with the family, the culture and the society in which one belongs. This single but influential theory proposed by the psychoanalyst, Erik Erikson, highlighted eight stages of psychosocial development which includes:

Learning trust vs. mistrust, Autonomy vs. shame, initiative vs. guilt, industry vs. inferiority, identity vs. identity diffusion, intimacy vs. isolation, generality vs. self absorption, integrity vs. despair.

According to Erikson, the task of individual at each developmental stage is to bring forth primarily the positive quality that is trust, Autonomy, initiative, industry, identity, intimacy, generality, integrity. And if this is not done effectively, the individual will develop inadequate and maladaptive behaviour pattern.

Focusing on identity according to Erikson, this stage comes with adolescence during this period, the task is to synthesize the past, present and future possibilities into a clear sense of identity that enables the child answer satisfactorily the question of “who am I?” To gain this sense of identity, adolescents tend to try out different selves in different situations, namely the home, the school and with friends. From these the adolescent emerges with the qualities he thinks best fit him or her since he or she has known the real self will determine what the person likes and dislikes and the type of person he or she would like to associate with.

Erikson 91968) says, one’s identity is a relatively clear and stable sense of who one is and what one stands for. Although we have a multiplicity of thoughts and feelings and engage in many diverse activities in a fundamental way. In addition, our own sense of who we are must match pretty with other people’s views of us. This latter idea reflects Erikson’s assertion that identity is rooted in both self and society.

The Social Learning Theory

This theory was postulated by Cohen in (1958), it formulates that a person’s characteristics of self-esteem is a function of his reinforcement history. The high self-esteem individual has presumably had a past history of chiefly positive reinforcement for his efforts, while a low self-esteem person has met with negative reinforcement in a variety of situations. Of course, other people especially parents and teachers greatly influence our definitions of success and failure. Some overly demanding parents and teacher set unrealistically high standards and virtually never satisfied with children’s performances. These unrealistic standards may cause the children to make largely unfavourable appraisals of their performance, thus lowering their self-esteem.

For social learning theorists, behaviour is the result of a continuous interaction between personal and environmental variables. The rewards and punishments they provide is an important influence on an individual’s behaviour. According to this theory, individual differences is behaviour result in large part from difference in the kinds of learning experiences encountered in the course of growing up some behaviour pattern are acquired without direct reinforcement, through observational Learning. These our actions are governed to a large extent by anticipated consequences.

The Humanistic Theory

Cad Roger (1951-1977), stated that the best Vantage point for understanding behaviour is from the frame of reference of the individual himself. “The organism has one basic tendency and striving – to actualize, maintain and enhance the experiencing organism”. “When the individual perceives and accepts into one consistent and integrated system all his sensory and visual experiences, then he is necessarily more understanding of others and is more accepting of others as separate individuals”. Self consist of all the ideas, perceptions and values that characterize “I” or “Me”, it includes the awareness of “What I am” and “what I can do”. This perceived self in turn influence both the person’s perception of the world and his or her behaviour. An individual with a strong positive self-esteem view the world quiet differently than a person with a weak self esteem does. According to him, self-esteem does not necessarily reflect reality, a person may be highly successful and respected but view himself as a failure.

Social Exchange Theory

George Levinger, (1980), postulates that interpersonal relationship are governed by perceptions of the rewards and cost of interactions.

Basically, this model predicts that interactions between acquaintances, friends and lovers are likely to continue as long as the participants feel that the benefits they drive from the relationship are reasonable in comparison with the costs (Kelly and Thibaunt, 1978). This standard of what constitutes an acceptable balance of rewards and costs in a relationship is referred to as your comparison level. It is based on the outcomes you have experienced in previous relationships and the outcomes you have seen other experiences in their relationships. Your comparison level may also be influenced by your exposure to fictional relationships, such as those you have read about or seen on television. In accord with the predictions of exchange theory, research indicates that satisfaction in a relationship is high.

Empirical Review

Jones (1973) cited in Berschcid (1985), maintained that our self-esteem influences the way we relate to others. Self-esteem also affects our reaction to other’s evaluations of us. Individuals with low self-esteem tend to take negative feedback to hate more than do people with high self esteem.

Erving Goffman, (1959) cited in Jane S. Halonen and John W. Santrock (1996), although we may be aware of the dubious accuracy of our self presentations, he argued that we sometimes come to believe our fabrications. For him, if you are really quite conceived, but you incorporate false humanity in interesting with others, you may begin to view yourself as a humble person.

Swann, (1987) cited in Swann, Stein-seroussi, and Giesler, (1992) one outcome of a desire for self-esteem is that people tend to choose interaction partners with those who see them as they see themselves. In a series of studies, people used two general strategies to self-verify. Firstly, they created environments that confirmed their self-views, primarily by choosing appropriate interaction partners and secondly, they interpreted and remembered their interactions as a confirming their self-views. The inclination to choose interaction partners with those who confirm to one’s self-views is likely rooted in a desire to maintain perception of predictability and control.

David Buss, (1994) an expert on international mating strategies, conducted on ambitious cross-cultural study involving fifty other scientists who examined mate preference in thirty-seven cultures. He found surprising uniformity among the most desirable characteristics for a partner. Using both rating and ranking systems, but discovered the following common preferences among all the cultures represented in study: kindness and understanding intelligence, good health, emotional stability and maturity, dependability and pleasing disposition.

Kalich and Hamilton (1986), we usually seek out someone at our own level of attractiveness in both physical characteristics and social attributes; most of us come away with a good match. Research indicates that this matching hypothesis that while we may prefer a more attractive person in the abstract, in the real world we end up choosing someone who is close to our level of attractiveness-holds up.

Lau and Gruen (1992), loneliness is associated with a person’s gender attachment history, self esteem and social skill. Lonely people often have a history of poor relationship with their parents. Early experiences of rejection and loose as when a parent dies can causes a lasting feeling of being alone. Lonely people often have low self-esteem and tend to blame themselves more than they deserve for their inadequacies.

Darlega and Tennen (1994), gender plays a role in interpersonal relation. In peer relationships that emphasize competition and challenge male often avoid revealing weakness and at time associated self-disclosure with loss of control and with vulnerability. Female and male not only reveal different preference for and patterns relations but also interpret the meaning and purpose of interpersonal relationship differently.

Lerner and Karabenick (1974) cited in Atkinson and Atkinson (1986), physical attractiveness is correlated with a positive self-esteem, mental health, assertiveness, self-confidence and a variety of other positive attributes. According to him, people may treat physically attractive individuals in ways that lead them to have more self-esteem, self-confidence and greater social skills than less attractive individuals especially among peers.

Batson and Crandall, (1986), reciprocity and exchange are important aspect of interpersonal relationship. Egoism is involved when person A gives to person B to ensure reciprocity, to gain self-esteem, to present oneself as powerful, competent or caring or to avoid social and self-censure for failing to live up to normative expectations. By contrast, interpersonal relationship occurs when person A gives to person B with ultimate goal of benefiting person B any benefits that come to person A are unintended.

Newcomb (1961) cited in Atkinson and Atkinson (1986), one reason for interpersonal relationship is liking which is probably that people values their own opinions and preferences and enjoy being with others who validate their choices, possibly boosting their self-esteem in the process.

Dan McAdams, (1982), has interesting differences between important social interaction. If you have a strong need for affiliation, you probably enjoy establishing and maintaining many rewarding interpersonal relationships as well as joining and participating in groups. Individuals who are low on this need feel less drawn to interact with others.

Kiesler and Baral (1970) cited in marsh and parker (1984), people with a favourable self-esteem may see themselves as having a wider range of interpersonal relationship than those with an unfavourable self-esteem.

Meta Memillian (1999), self-esteem enhances initiatives to help youths feel good about themselves bolstered enough to cope with the hard knocks they were sure to receive later in life. Recent studies indicate that such initiatives may have gone too far or have only limited value.

Francois Mauriac (1982) cited in Jane and Santrook (1996), Birds of a feather do indeed flock together. Familiarity, having spent time together or in close proximity, is an essential condition for interpersonal relationship. Interpersonal relationship is the importance of similar attitudes, behaviour, tastes in clothes, intelligence, personality, political attitude, values lifestyles, and physical attractiveness.

Cutrona, (1984), carried out a study at campus and found that, more than 40 percent said their loneliness was moderate to sever intensity, Students who were the most optimistic and had their highest self-esteem were likely to overcome their loneliness by the end of their freshman year.

Steve Salerno and Los Angeles, (2006), self-esteem based on education presupposed that a healthy ago would help students achieve greatness, even if the mechanism necessary to instill self-esteem undercut scholarship. And these evidence helps the students to exhibit confidence in their abilities while relating with their peers.

Laureen Slater, (2002), propounded studies on self-esteem released in the United States according to him people with high self-esteem pose a greater threat to those around them than people with low self-esteem.

Diane Alden, (2001), before the national self-esteem movement began, kids earned self-esteem or absorbed it naturally from their parents. High self-esteem doesn’t lead to good social behaviour, they are more likely to take the initiative but not necessarily in social describable ways.

Riley (1997) cited Gender, Economics and entitlement in African (1999), Gender is particularly applied to social meanings of biological sex differences or behavioural aspects of men and woman shaped by social forces. Gender also establishes patterns of behaviour through interaction with other institutions.

Watshon (1987), in his study found self-esteem to be a significant predictor of ego identity, females however reported significantly less identity diffusion than males providing evidence that gender experiences exist  in ego identity development. From the above study, it is evident that differences do exist between the sexes in self-esteem and interpersonal relationship.

Jegede and Olukayode (1982), Nigerians conducted some studies in self-esteem with Nigerian students found that the distribution of self-esteem and interpersonal relationship scares was similar to those obtained in studies of United states Students. However, it was found that females had significantly lower mean self-esteem than males.

Dusik, Jerome (1986) carried out a study on sex differences in self-esteem and interpersonal relationship during early adolescence, it was found that identity was differentially related to self-esteem and internal relationship for males and females.

Meissner and Wapner (1981), compared boys and girls at each grade level and found that girls at each grade level had higher self-esteem and interpersonal relationship than boys.

Takaji (1980), found that self-esteem and interpersonal relationship of emotionality showed significant differences among sexes for students. For higher institutions there was significant differences between activities self-esteem and interpersonal relationship of males and those of females.

Blackbourn and Blackbourn (1987) examined self-esteem and interpersonal relationship among students at the time of entering into the first level; he found that boys had a significant more positive self-esteem than girls.

Olakola (1983), examined sex differences among the urban rural students in self-esteem and interpersonal relationship and found that, the urban females obtained significantly higher scores than urban males in their relationship among their peers in domains of self-esteem, self satisfaction and moral-ethical self with rural sample, the males scored significantly higher than females in areas of self-esteem behaviour, moral-ethical self and social self. The rural males scored higher than rural females in overall level of self-esteem and interpersonal relationship.

Akinyemi, (1985), in Gender differences in the self-esteem and interpersonal relationship of English and Nigerian students, found that Nigerian males had significantly more positive self-esteem and interpersonal relationship than Nigerian females. The differences between the English males and females were not as wide but tended towards significance.

Thus, the influence of gender on self-esteem and interpersonal relationship seems to be the product of a circular interaction between the constitutional and cultural factors medicated through different patterns of social interaction. However, some studies indicate sex differences in self-esteem and interpersonal relationship while others found no differences.

Hypothesis

  1. There will be no statistically significant relationship in interpersonal relationship between students with high self-esteem and those with low self-esteem.
  2. There will be no statistically significant relationship in interpersonal relationship between male and female student.

 METHODOLOGY

1. Participants

The participants used in the study were systematically randomly sampled from Ebonyi State University under graduates students population. The faculties that were used in this research include education, social sciences, Arts and Management. Out of these four (4) faculties a total of 120 participants were randomly selected in all, selecting 30 students from each faculty but 100 were able to respond to test. The age bracket of the respondents is between 16-31 years above. This is to ensure that the entire characteristics of the population are represented. Hence 50 males and 50 females participated in the research.

       Instrument

The research used two measuring instruments for measuring the independent and dependent variables. In measuring the independent variables self-esteem, Hare self-esteem scale (HSS) initially developed by Rosenbary (1979) and later modified, and validated by Anumba, (1985) for the study of self-esteem Anumba, (1985), standardizing the hare self-esteem scales (HSS) with Nigerian samples, obtained a test retest reliability co-efficient of .74 and commonalties ranging from .62 to .83 after analysis validation exercise.

The dependent variable is interpersonal relationship. In measuring the dependent variable index of peer relations (IPR) initially developed by Baumind (1971), and later modified and validated by Anumba (1985), for the study of peer relations. (Anumba 1985), standardizing the index of peer relations (IPR) with Nigerian samples, obtained test-retest reliability co-efficient of .86 and commonalties ranging from .59 to 73.

       Procedure

The research instruments, the Hare self-esteem scale (HSS) and index of peer relations (IPR) was administered through the use of questionnaire. The scale was administered to the participants in their classrooms. The instructions were explained verbally in addition to the written one. The participants were instructed to tick good (√) in the position that best reflected their feelings about themselves and feelings towards relating with their school mates at school. The entire completed questionnaire were collected on the spot.

Designs/ Statistics

The study is a survey research, the statistic adopted in this study was correlation analysis.

Hypothesis

There will be no statistically significant relationship in interpersonal relationship between students with high self-esteem and those with low self-esteem.

       Table I

Nature of subject No of subject Mean Standard deviation Degree freedom Calculated value Critical value Level of sign
High self-esteem 50 89.42 6.82  

49

 

0.33

 

.268

 

0.05

Low self-esteem 50 58.9 12.62

 

The table I above shows that, the students that have high self-esteem are positively good in interpersonal relationship and it also showed that students that have high self-esteem had high scores on students relations than those with low self-esteem.

The table above also showed their mean and standard deviation. Those students with high self-esteem had a mean score of 89.42 with standard deviation of 6.82 while those students with low self-esteem had a mean of 58.9 and the standard deviation of 12.62. the table showed that, there is a statistically significant relationship in interpersonal relationship between students with high self-esteem and those with low self-esteem.

Hypothesis II

There will be no statistically significant relationship in interpersonal relationship between male and female students.

       Table II

Nature of subject No of subject Mean Standard deviation Degree freedom Calculated value Critical value Level of sign
Male 50 82.9 7.73  

49

 

-0.5

 

.268

 

0.05

Female 50 61.32 12.95
Total 100            

The table II above shows that the calculated value for gender was .268, thus p<.05. This support the null hypothesis which states that, there will be no statistically significant relationship in interpersonal relationship between male and female students.

These results also indicated that gender does not have a significant influence in interpersonal relationship. The null hypothesis which states that there will be statistically significant relationship in interpersonal relationship between male and female students was accepted. This can also be verified from the mean and standard deviation table.

Interpretation of Findings

The study examined the influence of self-esteem on interpersonal relationship. In the course of the investigation, two independent variables (self-esteem and gender) was identified and tested on one dependent variable interpersonal relationship.

The first hypothesis which states that there will be no statistical significance relationship in interpersonal relationship between those with high self-esteem and those with low self-esteem were rejected. Thereby supporting the previous finding by Jones (1973) that our self-esteem influences the way we relate to others. The null hypothesis were rejected based on the result of the correlating with mean of those with high self-esteem which is 89.42, standard deviation is 6.82 and the calculated values 0.33 while the table value is 0.268 at the significant level of 0.05. The calculated value being higher than the table value.

The second hypothesis, which state that there will be no statistical significant relationship in interpersonal relationship between male and female students was supported by the result. The result showed negative correlation, r = – 0.5 and the table value was .268 at the significant level of .05.

The finding is in line with the data collected from index-peer relation (IPR) and supported the finding of Takagi, (1980) who found that there was no statistical relationship between self-esteem and interpersonal relationship of male and females. The correlation summary table in chapter four will help to understand the explanation made here.

Implications of the Study

The findings of the two hypothesis have been stated, which suggest that the first hypothesis were not supported, but the second hypothesis were supported. This implies that individual’s self-esteem influences their interpersonal relationship in Ebonyi State University students which constitute the sample.

Limitations of the Study

People were reluctant to respond to the questionnaire as a result of its volume. The participants’ hesitation to co-operate led to the reduction of the number of the participants from 120-100. The researcher also ran short of fund in generating material used for the research. Also the number of participants used for the study was very limited and cannot be generalized to wider population.

Suggestion for Further Study

The following suggestions for further research are therefore put forward:

  1. Effort should be made to the students for them to know their self-esteem.
  2. The lecturers should make sure to provide those material that will enable students achieve high self-esteem.
  3. The students should know their friends in order to shape their self-esteem in a positive way.
  4. Determining the influence of variable such as parental upbringing, cultural background and economic status on interpersonal relationship.

Conclusion

The influence of gender on self-esteem and interpersonal relationship seems to be the product of a circular interaction between the constitutional and cultural factors mediated through different patterns of social interaction. However, some studies indicate sex differences in self-esteem and interpersonal relationship while others found no differences. The finding also indicates that any strain on self-esteem and interpersonal relationship among students should be traceable to specific source rather than institutional transformation.

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