Self-esteem is a psychological term that refers to a person’s overall sense of worth or personal significance. Once upon a time, self-esteem was thought to be a personality trait, implying that it is stable and long-lasting. It covered a wide range of self-perceptions, including how one perceives one’s own appearance, beliefs, feelings, and behaviors (Malbi, 2002). Many researchers have attempted to understand the concept of self-esteem, including its definition, measurement, stability, origins, and impact on a variety of aspects of life, including education. Most secondary school students are between the ages of 12 and 20, and self-esteem is prone to fluctuation during this time of transition and stress. Many adolescents struggle with self-esteem and academic performance. Self-esteem and academic performance between the ages of seven and fifteen  appear to be the most closely related (Reasoner, 2000). Those who are self-assured achieve more, while those who are insecure achieve less. However, because correlation does not imply causation, this does not imply that having a high sense of self-worth leads to good academic performance. Other studies have discovered that high self-esteem is a result of superior academic performance rather than the cause. While academics generally agree that there is a strong relationship between self-esteem and academic success, there are significant differences in the nature of the relationship, according to Reasoner (2005). The relationship between self-esteem and academic performance is still unclear as a result of the literature review, as research yields contradictory results. It was widely assumed that gender had an effect on the development, expression, and manifestation of self-esteem (Habibollah, 2009). (Habibollah, 2009). According to several studies, boys and girls have different primary sources of self-esteem, with girls being more influenced by relationships and guys being more influenced by objective success. According to Campbell, previous research shows that male adolescents have higher self-esteem than female adolescents (2001). Male self-esteem appeared to be influenced more by independence and autonomy goals, whereas female self-esteem appeared to be influenced more by sensitivity and dependency goals (Alesi, 2006). Overall, males gain self-esteem by succeeding, whereas females gain self-esteem by cooperating. According to Donnellan (2001), African American students had the highest self-esteem in the United States, followed by Whites, Hispanics, and Asians. Despite the fact that they all had high self-esteem on average ( Crocker, 2002). Markus possesses explained why Asians had low self-esteem. Because Asian culture is collectivist and places a strong emphasis on the collective, displaying high self-esteem as an individual contradicts traditional values. The concept of self-esteem can be traced back to well-known psychologists. William James and Mead were among the first (1890). They proposed that a person’s self-esteem was equal to his or her success divided by his or her goals. Self-esteem is calculated by dividing academic performance by how well one believes he or she should be doing. To boost one’s overall self-esteem, either increase one’s successes or lower one’s expectations for accomplishments. This continues to have an impact on people’s self-esteem perceptions (Wickline, 2003). Rogers (2009), a self-psychologist, was curious about the  The general nature of subjective experience and the acceptance of that experience by the individual. According to Bednar (2007), the creative self constructs each person’s unique perception of reality. Gordon Allport (2011) proposed that self-awareness development follows developmental learning lines. He identified seven distinct aspects of self-identity. The third developmental stage of the program is self-esteem. When a child succeeds in mastering activities, he or she feels a sense of accomplishment. Rosenberg conducted a study on adolescent self-esteem in 2011 and identified three types of self-esteem: the existing self, the aspired self, and the presenting self. Rosenberg warns that no one knows the true self, but that everyone creates and interprets self-images. He distinguished self-assurance from self-esteem. In his opinion, self-esteem is more important. of an emotive feeling of efficacy. As a result, while self-esteem can benefit from self-confidence, the two are not synonymous. According to research conducted primarily in Western and European cultures, self-esteem has a significant impact on students’ academic performance (Spinath, 2006). Students’ assessments of the fit between their self-concept and academic objectives are critical for learning outcomes. However, little actual research has been conducted to determine whether these conclusions can be applied to civilizations other than Western, European, and Asian cultures. The small study on the relationship between self-esteem and academic performance on the African continent was particularly noteworthy (Ham, 2004). If, as Shavelson claims, a person’s self-concept is formed through interactions with and interpretations of their environment, then research should be conducted.

To reach a firm and clear conclusion, representatives from various cultures were required.


It is commonly assumed that having a high level of self-esteem is essential. The link between self-esteem and academic performance was not yet obvious due to conflicting findings in the research. The majority of studies have found a link between self-esteem and academic performance, though the direction of the link remains unknown (Reasoner, 2005). Male adolescents have higher self-esteem than female adolescents, according to Campbell (2001) and other studies. Boys and girls may have different levels of self-esteem, which can contribute to academic performance differences. There was also significant empirical 4 data demonstrating gender and age differences in self-concept and academic performance, necessitating further research. into gender differences. There was a dearth of research on adolescent self-esteem and academic performance, especially in Kenya. The importance of studying adolescent self-esteem levels was emphasized by the fact that this is a critical stage in development when self-esteem is moderately formed (Orth, 2011). This was in reference to the numerous psychological milestones encountered during this developmental stage, such as job decision-making and personal identity formation. Students who have low self-esteem struggle to deal with academic and social challenges at school. As a result, it was critical to understand aspects of self-esteem that may influence treatments aimed at boosting self-esteem during critical developmental stages, such as young adulthood, in order to avoid these psycho-social difficulties, particularly in relation to depression.

to gender considerations (Trzesniewski, 2010). Rudolph (2004) discovered that such efforts may improve teenagers’ psychological well-being.


The primary objective of this study is to investigate the relationship between self-esteem and academic performance among Nigerian secondary school students. The study’s specific objectives were to:

i. Identify the factors that influence secondary school students’ low and high self-esteem.

ii. Determine whether gender differences in self-esteem have an impact on secondary school students.

iii. Look into the relationship between self-esteem and academic performance in secondary school students.


The study sought to answer the following research questions:

i. What are the factors that influence secondary school students’ low and high self-esteem?

ii. Does gender difference influence levels

of secondary school students’ self-esteem?

Is there a relationship between self-esteem and academic performance in secondary school students?


The assessment of students’ development was critical because it served as the foundation for making educational decisions about them. To improve academic performance standards, educators, parents, and students needed to be aware of the factors that influence academic performance outcomes. A better understanding of how self-esteem affects teenagers may aid in the development of training courses and enrichment programs that supplement the cognitive component of information acquisition. The study’s findings may assist the learner in developing a strong desire to succeed academically. Stakeholders include the Ministry of Education, policymakers, and others.

This information would be useful to teachers and parents. Teachers and school personnel can learn to recognize strategies for assisting all students in developing healthy self-esteem. Students can spend the majority of their school years being as successful as possible by detecting and treating self-esteem issues at a young age. Furthermore, by recognizing the link between self-esteem, academic performance, and gender, educators and counselors may better understand teenagers and learn how to support them. The study could potentially add to the small body of knowledge about student self-esteem.


The intention of this study on the relationship between self-esteem and academic performance in secondary school students in Nigeria was to cover at least five local government areas in Lagos state, but due to unforeseen circumstances, this goal was not met.

Due to time constraints and other unforeseen factors, samples were only collected from the Ikeja local government area in Lagos state.


Due to time constraints and a lack of funds, the research was limited to a single local government region.


Relationship: The way two or more people or objects are linked, or the state of being linked.

Self-esteem is defined as self-confidence and self-respect in one’s own worth or ability.

Academic Performance: the extent to which a student, instructor, or institution meets short- and long-term educational goals.

Secondary school is the intermediate level of education between elementary school and college.

Students: those pursuing a degree in order to pursue a career.


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