Byline: Arslaan Javaeed, Farah Khan, Nadia Sajjad, Sadia Azam Khan and Sanniya Khan Ghauri
Keywords: RSE scale, Academic performance, Medical student, Pakistan.
Self-esteem is a common and vital construct in the social sciences and everyday life.1 It refers to the positive or negative attitude to one's own personality.2 Self-esteem is a fundamental and primary need for every human.3 Low self-esteem can ultimately be a causative factor for anxiety, clinical depression, and suicidal tendency.2 It can also cause a high level of academic stress and poor academic performance.4,5 Students with a high level of self-esteem can easily deal with academic challenges and demands compared to their counterparts but high self-esteem can create stress among students because failure is not an option in their academic life.6 But interestingly, a few previous studies have revealed that academic score was not significantly affected by self-esteem.7,8 Therefore, the relationship between these two factors is still inconclusive and debatable.
Rosenberg recommended that in order to decrease self-esteem among undervalued social minorities four conditions must be present. These conditions are awareness, agreement, personal relevance, and significance. First, an individual must identify the group with negative interpretations and awareness. It could be the larger or smaller population. Then the individual has to agree with these negative assessments (agreement). Furthermore, the individual must accept that these negative societal assessments apply to the self (personal relevance). Lastly, the individual must be worried about society's assessments (significance).2 The concepts of esteem and stress are closely related.9 Academic tension or stress is a multifactorial mental condition often mentioned by the students. It is believed that mental well-being and self-esteem are influencers of academic stress experienced by most of the students at some point of their academic life.10
After an extensive literature search, we could not find any recent Pakistani study that measured the association between self-esteem and the academic score of undergraduate medical students. Hence, this study was undertaken to assess how self-esteem affects the academic performance of undergraduate medical students of the Azad Kashmir region of Pakistan.
Methods and Results
This cross-sectional observational study was conducted from June 2018 to June 2019 at Poonch Medical College, Rawalakot, Azad Kashmir. The data collection tool was the validated Rosenberg self-esteem scale questionnaire first described in 1965.2 RSE scale is a ten-item four-points Likert scale questionnaire to measure self-esteem score. The questionnaires were electronically distributed to all 500 students of Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery at the Poonch Medical College. Out of them, 253 students completed and submitted the questionnaire, making a response rate of 50.6%. Informed consent was secured from all students included in the study. The ethical review committee of Poonch Medical College provided ethical approval for this study.
Data were descriptively presented in Mean+-SD, frequencies, and percentages....