Relationship Between Low Self-Esteem And Body Weight Among Adolescents Essay Example For College


Research Background

Several factors are known to contribute to low self-esteem among adolescents. According to Lowry, Sallinen, and Janicke (2007), body weight is directly related to low self-esteem among youngsters since they tend trying to fit the ideal image of physical perfection. Steiger et al. (2014) have established that adolescents often experience low self-esteem due to an identity crisis that comes because of being perceived as overweight. The authors have further established a link between having low self-esteem and being overweight to depression among adolescents. The underlying connection between being overweight and having low self-esteem among adolescents has been made clear, but it is necessary to establish the magnitude of the relationship between low self-esteem and body weight among teens.

Scope of Research

The scope of this research paper is to establish the explicit relationship between low self-esteem and body weight among the adolescents of three high schools in Oklahoma.

Research Objectives

The primary objective of the study is to measure the magnitude of the relationship between self-esteem and body weight among female and male adolescents and thus illuminate the causes of low self-esteem. Similarly, it seeks to explain why adolescents with physical challenges, such as increased body weight, tend to have low self-esteem.

Research Question and Hypothesis

The research question is:

What is the relationship between low self-esteem and body weight among female and male adolescents?

The research hypotheses for this study are:

Null hypothesis: Adolescents who are overweight have lower self-esteem than adolescents who are not overweight do.

Alternative hypothesis: Adolescents who are overweight do not have lower selfesteem than adolescents who are not overweight do.

Relevance of the Study

The findings of the study will help psychologists and counselors understand the dynamics of body weight and self-esteem in adolescents. The findings will also help teachers, parents, and guardians apprehend the causes of certain adolescent behaviors that come as a result of low self-esteem. Therefore, the findings may be used as a guide to building positive self-esteem among adolescents.


Research Design

This research was conducted using a research approach that combined surveys and semi-structured interviews. The researcher chose a mixed-method approach because the scope of the research is focused, subjective, dynamic, and discoveryoriented. The qualitative interview method is best suited to gain proper insight into the situation of the case study, whereas the quantitative dimension of the study allows establishing the degree of correlation between self-esteem and body weight. Moreover, this approach will create room for further analysis using different tools for checking the degree of error and assumptions limits. The dependent variable is self-esteem, while the independent variable is body weight.

Research Approach

The researcher conducted the survey in three high schools in Oklahoma. The study sampled data on how male and female adolescents respond to body changes with respect to weight. The researcher inquired about the experiences of 30 teenagers, 15 females and 15 males, to determine the impact of body weight on their self-esteem.

Data Collection

In order to quantify the relationship between the independent and dependent variable, ANOVA was essential in the tabular representation of correlation analysis.

Findings and Analysis

Information about the respondents is summarized in the table below.

School Population Male participants Female participants
Oklahoma Junior 10 5 5
Oklahoma Academy 10 5 5
Oklahoma Success Center 10 5 5
Total 30 15 15

ANOVA Analysis

Analysis of variance focuses on establishing the differences between the means of data collected from the targeted organizations. The analysis focuses on the disintegrating the variation among and between groups. Therefore, ANOVA will attempt to establish whether there exists a statistical equality between the mean of the two groups of data. The first element ANOVA measures is the variations between groups. This part will entail computing the difference between the mean for each of the educational institutions and the mean for the population. It is often denoted as (x̅i – x̅)2 . The second element of ANOVA measures variation within the groups. This looks at the differences between the value of the institutions and their average. The second part is denoted as (x̅ij – xi)2 .
The subsequent sections will carry out the ANOVA. A multivariate analysis will be used to test the relationship between body weight and self-esteem. The three groups that will be analyzed are students from Oklahoma Junior, Oklahoma Success, and Oklahoma Academy. The table presented below gives information on the levels of selfesteem and body weights of the three groups of students.

Body Weight
Oklahoma Junior Oklahoma Success Oklahoma Academy
mean S.D. rank mean S.D. rank mean S.D. rank
Very overweight 5.62 0.31 1 4.21 1.04 3 6.63 0.96 2
5.21 0.74 2 3.42 1.53 4 7.71 1.34 1
Average 4.73 1.24 4 6.45 0.75 1 3.06 0.97 4
Slim 4.92 1.05 3 5.72 1.15 2 4.76 1.09 3

Results of ANOVA

Variable F-ratio Degrees of freedom P-value
Self-esteem 4.21 7.102 0.001
Analysis of the indicators      
Very overweight 9.42 194 0.000
Slightly overweight 6.92 194 0.004
Average 3.56 194 0.091
Slim 4.49 194 0.038

In the table above, the F-value is 4.21 while the P-value is 0.001. Thus, the null hypothesis is rejected at the 99% confidence level, confirming body weight as an indicator for determining the level of self-esteem. Thus, it can be concluded that being overweight has a statistically significant impact on the level of self-esteem among the adolescents. From the above analysis, it can be said that there is a relationship between low self-esteem and increased body weight among male and female adolescents. Apparently, being overweight (obese) is a serious contributing factor to low or negative self-esteem.


Data from this analysis on the relationship between body weight and self-esteem indicate that teenagers who are overweight have low or negative self-esteem. The 30 respondents’ weight ranges defined as very overweight, slightly overweight, average, and slim related to differing levels of self-esteem. In fact, during the interview stage, adolescents in the three learning environments agreed that being obese was a serious impediment to positive self-esteem. However, one limitation of this research is that it is based on self-reported data.

According to research by Franklin et al. (2006), the media is a significant factor influencing the development of poor self-esteem among adolescents, especially as related to body weight and self-image. Analysing the film Dying to be thin, Franklin et al. (2006) note that a slim body is presented as a powerful figurative form upon which the central hierarchies of society function. Body shape is also seen as a metaphysical commitment of a culture that is strengthened through the physical body (Franklin et al., 2006). The media also insinuates that slim people have access to better clothes than those who are overweight. Indeed, finding clothing tends to be particularly difficult for heavier people. To fit in a culture that idolizes slimness, young teenagers are under pressure and may end up developing negative self-esteem, especially if they are overweight.


Since adolescents are known to struggle to fit into the ideal social identity, the issue of body weight has become an impediment to positive self-esteem. Teenagers caught in this identity struggle may have to deal with isolation from their peers. In most cases, adolescents who are overweight may suffer psychological trauma in the form of abuse and ridicule by their counterparts who have a so-called normal weight. Repeated instances of ridicule, especially from persons these adolescents associate with their ideal image, may end up creating a permanent feeling of low self-esteem.

Reference list

Franklin, J. et al. (2006) ‘Obesity and risk of low self-esteem: a statewide survey of Australian children’. Journal of Pediatrics, 118(6), pp. 2481–2487.

Lowry, K., Sallinen, B. and Janicke, D. (2007) ‘The effects of weight management programs on self-esteem in pediatric overweight populations’. Journal of Pediatric psychology, 32(10), pp. 1179–1195.

Steiger, A.E. et al. (2014) ‘Low and decreasing self esteem during adolescence predict adult depression two decades later’. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 106(2), pp. 325–338.

Domestic Violence And Survivors Support

I would like to discuss the issue of domestic violence in society. Domestic violence is a type of violence or any other form of abuse in a domestic setting, victims of which can be both adults and children (United Nation, n.d.). An abuser is a person who may feel dominance over a victim, so using violence because of various reasons. The most common victims of domestic violence are women and children who usually depend on an abuser financially. The issue of domestic violence affects the whole community, as people may suffer from mental health issues or physical problems.

One of the examples of the negative impact of the domestic abuse of power is work productivity. It decreases people’s ability to work because those who have experienced violence can have depression, dissociations, post-traumatic stress disorders, and other health conditions. Moreover, the governmental units or employers spend more of their budget to mitigate the consequences of domestic abuse, suggesting its costly character. For instance, it has found that the total annual cost of tackling the issues caused by the domestic violence is over $12 billion in the United States (Ellison, 2016). This leads to the idea that the problem of domestic violence should be viewed not as a private but as a public concern.

I recommend supporting survivors, such as providing safety and lessening harms to address the issue of domestic violence. There should be victim centers, housing programs, treatment groups, and any other types of care to ensure people’s well-being. By having such support, victims may be afraid of abusers and have an opportunity to escape from them. Additionally, such support programs increase awareness about the issue, making people reconsider their actions.


Ellison, A. (2016). The impact of domestic violence on our community. The Nonprofit Partnership. Web.

United Nations. (n.d.). What is domestic abuse? Web.

Intellectual Property Theft And Research Preservation


The growth in the international economy relies on technological innovations that fuel intellectual property (IP) development, innovation, research, and intellectual capital development. The reliance on IP has become the most valuable responsibility where organizations can potentially invest. In the past, the United States has been the universal leader in exploration and novelty. Nonetheless, with the emergence of countries like China, the position once held by the U.S. is challenged. Critics argue that IP loss and theft and the economic situation held by the U.S. is becoming a challenge for businesses and how student research teams are funded. Therefore, it is critical that every action taken should safeguard IP loss and further scientific studies and information sharing. However, significant enough is to ensure that no more destruction is associated with the creation of intellectual capital. To warrant that such actions are realized, decision-makers and contributors have to acknowledge the challenge of IP theft by providing thoughtful responses on how intellectual security concerns are addressed.

Scope of the Problem

The effects attributed to IP theft are overwhelming, significantly when the problem is associated with intellectual property theft and foreign entities’ capital loss among research universities. The economic loss encountered by the U.S. has amounted to billions of dollars due to IP theft and loss. Haas (2018) argues that the financial loss has been exacerbated by China surpassing the U.S. as an economic powerhouse by developing its principal intellectual stores. In 2017, the National Bureau of Asian Research’s IP Commission Report showed a probable $225 billion got missing due to IP theft-related actions like imitated products and copied software (National Bureau of Asian Research, 2017). Another $600 billion has been attributed to trade secret theft.

With the economic challenges linked to IP theft and loss, there have been long-lasting outcomes to the ability to share information and academic research freely. Unless measures are taken, the negative impacts associated with IP theft are exacerbated research talent shortage and a decline in government-funded research. Other associated negative impacts are limitations on foreign researchers’ ability to partake in management-funded examinations and a decrease in educational engineering, math, science, and technology.

Foreign IP Theft

The challenge with foreign IP theft is costly, and among universities in the U.S., intellectual property theft has been associated with foreign entities. With this comes the need for stricter foreign student screening, hindering the intent to gain access to academic research institutions. The worldwide students’ number on American campuses has to be constrained to diminish IP theft jeopardy; however, this results in extra costs (Lieber, 2018). While the IP theft threat comes with international students, limiting the number will result in severe financial outcomes for higher learning institutions, domestic students in these institutions, and the country’s economy. Loudenback (2016) shows that by reducing the international students’ number in higher education institutions in the U.S., recovering the lost global student revenue would mean the institutions are passing the cost to domestic students.

The other influence that IP theft has is the ongoing and active academic visas evaluation for students. Based on Ambrose (2018), curbing educational visas for Chinese undergraduates, in particular, has been attributed to the acceptance that China is common for cyber-related breaches, which have resulted in IP theft. With the knowledge, government stakeholders in the country, alongside lawmakers, are involved in creating security restrictions on research projects that are federally funded. In filling a visa application, a student must provide additional information on their future jobs, family, and finances that would exist after achieving the degree (“F1 student visa,” n.d.). In this way, their opportunities are determined by a combination of external and internal factors.

When international students apply for their academic visas, eliminating bad actors requires an appropriate time allotment that thoroughly vets student applications and traces financial support before being admitted to the U.S. By swinging the pendulum too far, the academic visa restrictions might be difficult or too costly to overcome. Edwards (2016) shows that fighting the IP theft problem using this approach at research institutions is challenging since it endangers the scholarly precepts fundamental to academic research and freedom. Combating IP theft in such a way may also adversely affect how some higher learning institutions will be willing to participate in research initiatives funded by the government. How university research programs relate to the federal governments is a subject that is still under evaluation. However, the relationship has been a fundamental tenet that academic researchers use as the basis for their freedom. Therefore, basic research has been driven by the need to generate scientific discoveries and educate the workforce, and interfering with the relations could have drastic outcomes even if for national security issues.

Issues Surrounding the Problem of IP Theft

American Graduate Student Disappearance

Many students in American universities comprise international students, and more than one million of these individuals are enrolled in higher education programs. Leiber (2018) shows that approximately 5 percent of all the people in higher learning institutions are from other places.

Attracting global talent to work in the research programs in the U.S. is critical in the country. In 2018, the percentage of international students applying for positions in American universities declined by 11 percent. The trend raised concerns due to the existing shortage in the number of graduate research talent. The impossibility of engaging international students in this area can undermine the capacity of the American initiatives of higher learning institutions towards innovation (Thomas et al., 2019). Furthermore, this circumstance could worsen the ability to generate intellectual property and, consequently, be detrimental to the value of corresponding efforts.

Shortage of Research Talent

The idea that the U.S. encounters a decline in a scientific investigation has been a decade-long issue, with suggestions calling for the need for advanced-degree graduate holders in STEM-associated fields. The absence of curiosity in entering postdoctoral courses in the investigation has been linked to two main issues: time to secure the appointment and low salary associated with postdoctoral jobs. While the U.S. has been long involved in the massive successful recruitment of international scientists since the Second World War, the trend has changed over the years. Guarino et al. (2018) show that the recruitment trend changes have been linked to other nations giving foreign-born scientists higher salaries and additional incentives. Comparing China with the U.S., China has been attracting foreign-born scientists by funding large-scale science projects and with this offering better remuneration packages for scientists over the U.S.

Throughout the world, hard science skills and research talent are highly sought after. With respect to academia, all other sectors are looking for computer scientists. With the national shortage of computer scientists in the U.S., the wages of these professionals are, on average, five times higher (Thomas et al., 2019). The challenge with computer scientists has had tremendous outcomes in most universities offering computer science programs resulting in an additional burden to the small pool of computer scientists.

Cyber Security

Most people are aware of the growing challenge associated with cyber security. However, not all are aware of the problem’s significance and the expense associated with it. Fighting the situation requires that people have to be mindful of its existence and that it is being solved appropriately. The scale of cyber security issues makes the problem an explosive subject. Profit is the main motive that most cyber criminals conduct the crime, and the offense is undoubtedly profitable (Osborne, 2018). Advanced persistent and insider threats become two significant issues when it comes to safeguarding intellectual property and intellectual capital.

Insider threats are associated with individuals within an organization, which are the common cyber security attack targets. When compromised, individual users give a high access level based on their classes within organizations (Crowd Research Partners, 2018). Combating this insider threat makes organizations take proactive measures like deterrence methods, awareness and training, and data and user monitoring. On the other hand, advanced persistent threats allow for wide-ranging and profound computer system access and organizations (Thomas et al., 2019). Data thefts can go undetected for a long time, and criminals can steal information from more than one organization of computer systems at once.


Intellectual property theft and intellectual capital loss are significant issues in the U.S. Among the countermeasures to safeguard IP theft and capital loss have been associated with limiting the ability to use international research talent. If the challenge goes unnoticed, the outcomes attributed to IP theft and loss have a significant impact on research abilities in universities. Therefore, academic stakeholders have the mandate of addressing the problem with the government to change the security of institution information.


Ambrose, M. (2018). US confronting threat of Chinese exploitation of intellectual property. The American Institute of Physics. Web.

Crowd Research Partners. (2018). Insider threat. Web.

Edwards, J. (2016). U.S. targets spying threat on campus with proposed research clampdown. Reuters.

F1 student visa. (n.d.). International Student. Web.

Guarino, B., Rauhala, E. & Wan, W. (2018). China increasingly challenges American dominance of science. The Washington Post.

Haas, L.J. (2018). Global power is shifting from the U.S. to China. The U.S. News.

Lieber, N. (2018). Visa headaches discourage foreign applicants to U.S business schools. Bloomberg.

Loudenback, T. (2016). International students are now ‘subsidizing’ public American universities to the tune of $9 billion a year. Business Insider.

Osborne, C. (2018). Iranian hackers target 70 universities worldwide to steal research. ZDNet.

The National Bureau of Asian Research. (2017). Update to the IP Commission report. Web.

Thomas, E, J., Alicia, W, Jonathan, Dobbins, & Ronnie, R. (2019). Addressing IP theft while preserving research. The Bush School of Government & Public Service. Web.

error: Content is protected !!