Affiliation: First Department of Psychiatry, University of Athens Medical School, Eginition University Hospital, 74 Vassilisis Sophias Ave., 11528, Athens, Greece.
Purpose: The aim of the present study was to compare the self-esteem of two independent samples of high school students collected in Athens, Greece, at two points in time reflecting different socioeconomic conditions of the country.
Methods: At time point A (in 2002) we collected data from 713 adolescent students (age 15-18 years) attending Senior High School. At time point B (in 2010) we collected data from 1916 students (age 15-17 years) attending Senior High School. The questionnaires consisted of an introductory part in which personal and family data were recorded (school type, sex, family structure, and academic performance) and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (SES).
Results: Adolescents reported higher mean levels of self-esteem in 2002 compared to 2010. The main effect of sex, school type and academic performance on self-esteem was significant.
The effect of the interaction of time by school type on self-esteem was significant, with the self-esteem of students in technical education schools showing grater difference between time points than that of students in general education schools. Τhere was no effect of the interaction of sex, academic performance and family structure by time on self-esteem.
Conclusions: The financial standstill in Greece resulted in significantly lower levels of adolescent self-esteem. This effect is similar for both sexes and more accentuated among adolescents attending technical schools versus those attending general education schools.