Self-Esteem: Relationship with Age, Gender and BMI in Adolescents

  • Surekha Joshi AACCI, Research Coordinator, Association of Adolescent and Child Care in India, Maharashtra, India.
  • Sakshi Shah AACCI, Research Assistant, Association of Adolescent and Child Care in India, Maharashtra, India.
  • Swati Y Bhave AACCI, Executive Director, Association of Adolescent and Child Care in India, Maharashtra, India.
  • Paula Goel AACCI, Mumbai Centre In-Charge, Association of Adolescent and Child Care in India, Maharashtra, India.
  • Anuradha Sovani AACCI, Advisor, Association of Adolescent and Child Care in India, Maharashtra, India.
Keywords: RSES Self-esteem Scores, Adolescents, School Children, BMI, Age, Gender, High Socioeconomic Class, Metro City


Introduction: High adolescent self-esteem protects them against high-risk behaviour and physical and mental problems. The present cross-sectional study aimed to understand the self-esteem of school-going children in Mumbai and its association with selected demographic variables and BMI.

Method: The Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale and a demographic questionnaire were administered to 334 children (214 boys and 120 girls), between the ages of 10 and 15 years studying in an English-medium co-ed school in Mumbai. The sample was divided into two groups based on their age: Group 1: 10- to 12- year-olds (n = 188) and Group 2: 13- to 15-year-olds (n = 146). Parental permissions and written assent of the children who participated were taken. The data were analysed using SPSS 17.

Results: The mean self-esteem score was 18.64 ± 2.02 which is in the normal range (15-25). In older group 2, boys had significantly higher self-esteem than girls (p < 0.05). Analysis of BMI as per the Asian cut-off showed that 60.47% of students were in the underweight category. The self-esteem scores of older obese children were significantly more than that of younger obese children (p = 0.001). Similarly, older overweight students had higher self-esteem than younger overweight students (p = 0.002). High levels of self-esteem (≥ 26) were seen only in the underweight and normal BMI and in the younger age group: 9.53% in boys and 6.58% in girls.

Conclusions: Overall, this sample had mean self-esteem in the normal range; high levels were seen only in a few. Children with normal BMI had higher self-esteem scores. Interestingly, underweight children also had high self-esteem scores.

How to cite this article:
Joshi S, Shah S, Bhave SY, Goel P, Sovani A. Self-Esteem: Relationship with Age, Gender and BMI in Adolescents. Ind J Youth Adol Health. 2023;10(2):1-7.



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