Clothing deprivation: influence on self-esteem and perceptions of school climate for middle school female students

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Virginia Tech

Adolescence is a critical time for changes in self-concept and body-image awareness. Self-esteem, the evaluative component of self concept, has been found to be influenced by acceptance by peers. Appearance has been found to influence peer acceptance, and clothing is one tool which may modify appearance. Increasing competitiveness among adolescents with regard to clothing has been cited as one reason for encouraging uniforms or strict dress codes in schools. If an adolescent cannot afford the desired quality and quantity of clothing or is dissatisfied with clothing when compared to that of friends and classmates, high perceptions of clothing deprivation occurs. If an adolescent has high perceptions of clothing deprivation, she may experience low self-esteem. The purpose of the present study was to examine relationships between perceptions of clothing deprivation, perceptions of school climate, and self-esteem for a selected group of middle school females.