Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


Adolescence, a precarious and challenging time for American youth, is also a time that affects them on a physical, social, cognitive, and emotional level. Expectations connected to and regarding self-image, relationships, and other social and emotional factors combine to effect choices that may lead to risky behaviors and lowered academic success, especially for female adolescents. This research project examines the link between a positive self-image, academic success, and avoidance of risky behavioral trends in pre-adolescent females. Study of the literature regarding self-image and the teen years concludes that the pressures and anxiety of these years can have a detrimental effect on self-image, unattainable physical ideals, socially acceptable relationships, and lead to substance abuse and sexual activity. The purpose of the study was to create a group of pre-adolescent females to foster self-confidence and positive self-worth as a means to identify societal pressures and examine perceptions about gender in society as well as develop strategies to avoid risky behaviors. The study was conducted in an urban school with a group of seven female, fifth-grade students. The group met twice per week during the five week study in 30 minute sessions. Pre and post-test surveys were administered that measured areas of body image, attractiveness, self-efficacy, and personal feelings. Conclusive data from the test group reveals an overall positive impact on participant’s self-image and self-worth and the efficacy of intervention in this area.


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