Making sense of the self

Tatlow-Golden, Mimi (2023). Making sense of the self. In: Cooper, Victoria and Tatlow-Golden, Mimi eds. An Introduction to Childhood and Youth Studies and Psychology. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, pp. 58–74.



The self is the core of who we are, and it is central to our ability to function. In childhood and youth, the self is not only shaped by individual characteristics and development but also crucially by interactions with the people, places, things, societies, and cultures, which children and young people experience. This chapter introduces the self in development, in the social world, and in culture. It first explains what self-concept and self-esteem are and the impact they can have on children and young people’s lives. It then explores how caregivers’ interactions with young children shape self-concept and self-esteem with potentially enduring effects. The final section introduces a study of young adolescents’ views of the relationships and activities that are most important to them, shared through drawings and interviews. The study identifies what psychological researchers get right when they design research questionnaires to measure young people’s self-esteem – and what young people’s contributions and analyses show that adults miss.

Viewing alternatives


Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions
No digital document available to download for this item

Item Actions