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NCJ Number: 222549 Find in a Library
Title: Iraqi Adolescents: Self-Regard, Self-Derogation, and Perceived Threat in War
Journal: Journal of Adolescence  Volume:31  Issue:1  Dated:February 2008  Pages:53-75
Author(s): Steve Carlton-Ford; Morten G. Ender; Ahoo Tabatabai
Date Published: February 2008
Page Count: 23
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: Based on data obtained from 1,000 randomly selected adolescents living in Baghdad (Iraq) during July 2004 (1 year into the U.S.-Iraq war), this study examined links between adolescents' perceived threats associated with the war and results of the measurement of their self-esteem.
Abstract: The study found that Iraqi adolescents' self-esteem was significantly and persistently related to the sense that their city and country were threatened with violence and radical, potentially adverse changes. Those who felt this threat most intensely reported the highest levels of self-regard and lowest levels of self-derogation. In contrast, a more specific perceived threat to one's self, one's family, and one's neighborhood did not correlate with self-esteem (either self-regard or self-derogation). Adolescents with the following demographics reported both higher levels of self-esteem and higher levels of perceived threat: older age, male gender, Arab ethnicity, and Muslim religion (both Sunni and Shi'a). Self-esteem was higher for those whose religious faith was more important. The link between self-esteem and perceived threat persisted, albeit reduced in strength, after controls for demographic background, the importance of faith, orientation toward national issues, and personal concerns. These results are consistent with a body of theory and research that predicts higher self-esteem among individuals who face indirect threats to central aspects of their social identities. Such an awareness of threat to identity both intensifies and prioritizes a person's sense of national identity and thus self-esteem; however, when a threat is perceived as more direct and personal, i.e., involves one's self, family, and neighborhood, one's sense of self is neither positively nor negatively affected. The Iraqi survey researchers asked self-esteem questions from the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and asked questions about perceived safety, attitudes, issues, and concerns. 5 tables and 54 references
Main Term(s): Iraq; Juveniles; Self concept
Index Term(s): Community conflict; Foreign criminal justice research; Violence
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