Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Joseph A. Shaver

Second Advisor

Donald A. Moroose

Third Advisor

Samuel M. Church

Fourth Advisor

Stephen L. O’Keefe


The purpose of this study was to compare differences in levels of self-esteem between special education students and a control group of normal students. One hundred sixty-two fifth- through eighth-grade students from Doddridge County Middle School, West Union, West Virginia, were assessed by teachers using the Self-Esteem Index. The students were initially divided into two groups according to their placement in the regular or the special education programs. There was a total of 81 students in each of the groups. The configuration of each group was as follows: 24 learning-disability students, 14 behavior-disorder students, 16 gifted students, nine speech/language-disorder students, and 18 multiple-disorder students. A mixed ANOVA was performed on special education total mean scores on the SEI and compared to the control group’s scores (regular-education students). Significance was found; and a subsequent Scheffe’ test revealed only one significant difference in self-esteem between the special-and regular-education groups. It appears that gifted students have higher levels of self-esteem than their regular-education peers. All other groups of exceptionalities showed no difference when compared to the normal controls. This investigation also looked at differences in self-esteem according to gender. Results showed that there was no significant difference on this variable. In addition, this study indicated that students' educational placement nor gender do not combine in any signficant way to affect self-esteem.


Self-esteem in adolescence.

Special education – United States.

Education, Elementary – United States.