This study is on relationship between self esteem and locus of control among well functioning adolescent. The total population for the study is 200 students of selected secondary schools in Abuja. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made sss3 students, sss2 students, sss1 and jss3 students were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies











  • Background of the study

Adolescents experience many problems, including teen pregnancy, alcohol and drug use/abuse and violence, school failure and eating disorder (Callalian, & Stein 2003). The extent and seriousness of these problems may cause social scientists, policy makers and parents to overlook youth who are well functioning: teens that excel in school, have positive family and peer relationships, and have minimal participation in behaviors such as stated above. (Demon, 2004; Moore et al., 2004)   Adolescent has been described as a phase of life beginning in biology and ending in society (Peterson, 1988). Indeed, adolescent may be defined as the period within the life span when most of a person’s biological, cognitive, psychological and social characteristics are changing from what is typically considered child-like to what is considered adult-like (Learner and Spainer, 1980). For adolescents’, this period is a dramatic challenge, one requiring adjustment to changes in the self, in the family, and in the peer group. In contemporary society, adolescent experience institutional changes as well. Among young adolescents, there is a change in school setting, typically involving a transition from elementary school to either junior high school or middle school; and in late adolescence there is a transition from high school to the worlds of work, University or childrearing.  Adolescent is a time of excitement and of anxiety, of happiness and of troubles, of discovery and of bewilderment, and of breaks with the past and yet of links with the future. Adolescence can be a confusing time – for the adolescent experiencing this phase of life; for the parents who are nurturing the adolescent during his or her progression through this period; for adults charged with enhancing the development of youth during this period of life, and with disturbing, historically unprecedented frequency – for adolescents who themselves find themselves in the role of parents. When we searched the literature it became clear that the vast majority of adolescent research reported on the causes and correlates of problem behaviors (Shagle and Barber, 1995; Small and Luster, 1994; Pick and Palos, 1995). Most research on adolescent focuses on specific problem behaviors, whereas few studies examine the avoidance of multiple forms of risk taking or the determinants of positive development (Moore and Glei, 1995). Positive youth development approach helps in enhancing adolescent development, and for helping youth reach their full potential. This approach recognizes that all adolescents have strengths and that children and youth will develop in positive ways when these strengths are aligned with resources for healthy development in the various settings in which adolescent, live and interact.

Research indicates that the more exposure that adolescents have to positive resources and experiences and where synergy between multiple settings can be established – the more likely it is that they will develop, positively. Therefore, physical and institutional resources present in the social environment (for example, family support) are just as essential for promoting positive youth development as are individual assets (such as skills, talents, self-esteem and resiliency).  These resources provide adolescents with routines and structure, as well as opportunities for learning, recreation, and engagement with individuals and their communities. Developmental scientists have suggested that positive youth development encompasses psychological, behavioral and social characteristics that reflect competence confidence, connection, character and caring compassion. A child or adolescent who develops each of these five features is considered to be thriving. Moreover, developmental scientists believe that these thriving youth develop a sixth one, which is contribution to self, family, community, and civil society. These contributions or competence can be viewed in specific areas, including social, academic, cognitive, health and vocational. Social competence refers to interpersonal skills (such as conflict resolution).  Cognitive competence refers to cognitive abilities (e.g. decision making). Academic competence refers to school performance as shown, in part by school grades, attendance, and test scores. Health competence involves using nutrition, exercise, and rest to keep oneself fit. Vocational competence involves work habits and explorations of career choices. Moreso, these adolescents’ exhibit an internal sense of overall positive self worth and self-efficacy. They have positive bonds with people and institutions that are reflected in exchanges between the individual and his or her peers, family, school, relationship. Well functioning adolescents’ exhibit respect for societal and cultural norms, possession of standards for correct behaviors, a sense of right and wrong (morality) and integrity. They also have a sense of sympathy and empathy for others.

Who we are is largely defined by the experiences we have had and how we understand those experiences (McLean, 2007). There is growing evidence in the psychological literature that the narratives of one’s own personal experience are critical for identity and well-being. Individuals who are able to create more coherent and emotionally expressive narratives about stressful events subsequently show lower levels of depression, and anxiety (Fraittaroh 2000); adolescents who tell life narratives that are more redemptive, focusing on how good things emerged from bad, show higher levels of emotional well-being and higher levels of generativist, connecting in positive ways to the next generation (Mc Adams 2001).  Importantly, families that share stories, about parents and grandparents, about triumphs and failures, provide powerful models for children. Children understand whom they are in the world not only through their individual experiences but also through the filters of family stories that provide a sense of identity through historical time (Fivush 1999). Although this idea resonates in the social science literature, there is surprisingly little empirical research examining how knowledge of family stories is related to child outcome. Several studies show that self-esteem influences academic performance (Clifford, 1964). Research has shown that self-esteem is a better predictor of academic success than measured intelligence (Clifford, 1964). Research aside; common sense dictates that our thoughts influence our feelings and behaviors. Our behavior consequently influences our performance. Life is essentially a self-fulfilling prophecy. Common sense also dictates that a student who has self-doubt and lacks self-acceptance is unlikely to attain academic excellence.  How can a student establish challenging goals if he or she lacks a sense of self-competence or self-efficacy? How can a student concentrate fully on studies if he or she lacks self-approval? Indeed, research does show that underachievers are generally less confident and less ambitious (Goldberg, 1960), less self accepting (Shaw and Alves, 1963), and lack sense of personal worth (Durr and Schmatz, 1964). Research also shows that feeling worthless can be depressing (Battle, 1990) and depression generally inhibits performance. As stated by Mark R. Leary and Deborah L. Downs (1999 p.112) “People who feel worthy, able and competent are more likely to achieve their goals than those who feel worthless, impotent and incompetent’’. Research also shows that academic achievement influences the level of self-esteem. Successful academic performance enhances self-esteem (Moore, 1996). Similarly, poor academic performance tends to erode students’ level of self-esteem (Gibby and Gibby 1967). Furthermore, Locus of control, which is a personality construct, refers to an individual’s perception of the locus of events as determined internally by his or her own behaviour vs. fate, Luck or external circumstances. It is a belief about whether the outcomes of our actions are contingent on what we do (internal control orientation) or on eventsoutside our personal control (external control orientation) (Zimbardo, 1985). In general, it seems to be psychologically healthy to perceive that one has control over those things, which one is capable of influencing.




The problem of inferiority complex among adolescents is becoming alarming. Often times, we see adolescents doing things against their wish because most of their friends or peers supported that. This attitude makes them to blame society for their failure (external locus of control). Because the action was not their desire, there is every tendency that they will bear the blame. This pattern of life affects their development. Due to this worry, the present study deems it necessary to know whether most of the adolescents who lack confidence in themselves will attribute their failures to society or themselves. Therefore, the present study will give answer to this question; Will there be a significant positive relationship between high self-esteem and internal locus of control?





The objectives of the study are;

  1. To ascertain the relationship between self esteem and locus of control among adolescent
  2. To ascertain the effect of self-esteem and locus of control on academic achievement.
  3. To ascertain the effect of locus of control upon academic achievement.




For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

H0: there is no relationship between self esteem and locus of control among adolescent

H1: there is relationship between self esteem and locus of control among adolescent

H02: there is no effect of self-esteem and locus of control on academic achievement

H2: there is effect of self-esteem and locus of control on academic achievement



This study will give clear details on the relationship between self esteem and locus of control among well functioning adolescent. The study will be beneficial to students, youths and the general public. This study will serve s a reference to other researcher that will embark on this topic.


The scope of the study covers relationship between self esteem and locus of control among well functioning adolescent. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

  1. a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
  2. b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
  3. c) Organizational privacy: Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities.




SELF ESTEEM: Self-esteem reflects an individual’s overall subjective emotional evaluation of their own worth. It is the decision made by an individual as an attitude towards the self. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs about oneself, as well as emotional states, such as triumph, despair, pride, and shame

LOCUS: a particular position or place where something occurs or is situated

ADOLESCENT: Adolescence is a transitional stage of physical and psychological development that generally occurs during the period from puberty to legal adulthood. Adolescence is usually associated with the teenage years, but its physical, psychological or cultural expressions may begin earlier and end later.


This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.  Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study


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