Kay E. Nelson

Date of Award

Spring 3-1995

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


Stress levels can have a profound effect on the individual's level of self-esteem. If there are many stresses in an individual's life and self-esteem is low, then how can o person help himself or herself to reduce stresses in their life? Lower levels of self-esteem con contribute to feelings of depression and hopelessness. When an individual has higher levels of self esteem, one con deal with life events more effectively and do the work necessary to make permanent changes to reduce stress levels. This thesis reports the results of a study addressing the interaction between stress and self-esteem for the parents of high risk preschool children. The hypotheses is that individuals who are experiencing significant stress in their lives will have a tendency to have lower levels of self-esteem. Key words used in this study include stress, self-esteem, poverty, families at risk, depressive factors and social support. Two surveys were mailed to parents in the '5's Alive!," q kindergarten readiness program. The results indicated that there was a likely relationship between high levels of stress and low levels of self-esteem. Implications for social workers include not only assisting clients to reduce stress by providing resources, but closely examining levels of self-esteem and assisting clients to explore ways of increasing self-esteem levels.


SC 11.MSW.1995.Nelson.KE