Self-esteem, Coping Strategies, and Adjustment: A Comparison between Orphans and Non Orphans

Author: Asia Sarfraz

Supervisor: Dr. Aisha Sitwat

Degree: MS

Year: 2008-2010

University: Centre for Clinical Psychology, Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan


The present study aimed at studying self-esteem, coping and adjustment of orphans and non-orphans. Ex- post facto design was employed and a total sample of 300 adolescents (13-17 years) was recruited through purposive sampling. The non-orphans (n=100) and non-institutionalized orphans (n=100) were recruited from the Government schools of Lahore while institutionalized orphans (n=100) were recruited from orphanages. It was hypothesized that the self-esteem of non-orphans will be higher than both institutionalized and non-institutionalized orphans. The adjustment of the non-orphans was also hypothesized to be better than those of the institutionalized and non-institutionalized orphans. It was further hypothesized that non-orphans will be using more active practical coping while orphans will be using more religious coping. The last hypothesis stated that high self-esteem, active practical coping, and religious coping will be the predictors of better adjustment. Self-Esteem Scale (Riffai, 1999), Coping Strategies Questionnaire (Kausar, 1996) and Psychological Adjustment Scale (Sabir, 1999) were used. Data was analyzed using one-way ANOVA and Regression analysis. Results showed that self-esteem of non-orphans was higher than both groups of the orphans however there was no difference in the self- esteem of the two groups of the orphans. Similarly, adjustment of the non-orphans was also better than two groups of the orphans. The institutionalized orphans’ adjustment was significantly better than those of the non-institutionalized orphans. Furthermore, non-orphans were using more active practical coping as compared to both institutionalized orphans and non-institutionalized orphans and amongst the orphans, non-institutionalized orphans were using significantly more active practical coping than institutionalized orphans. Avoidance coping and religious coping was used more by the orphans than non- orphans. Results have also suggested that high self-esteem, active practical coping, and avoidance coping were associated with the better adjustment. Results of the study have implications for making plans for the betterment of the orphans.

Keywords: : Self-esteem, Coping Strategies, Adjustment, Orphans.

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