Self-Esteem Test for Teens (SETT)

Self-Esteem Test for Teens

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Self-Esteem Test for Teens

What is the Self-Esteem Test for Teens (SETT)?

It’s a test that helps you find out how your teenager compares to other youngsters in self-esteem or confidence. It’s an online assessment that adolescents in 8th through 11th or 12th grades complete online. The Feedback section looks like the chart in the window above, and the actual test the Teen sees looks like the screenshot below.

Why use the Self-Esteem Test for Teens (SETT)?

Use the SETT to find out if your Teenager is feeling good about him or herself so you can help clear the way for your youngster’s talents to be ignited! An unhappy or depressed adolescent doesn’t have the emotional energy to learn at top speed or seek opportunities to help maximize his or her talents. Self-esteem—or people’s perceptions about self and who they are—comes from the environment. Good self-esteem leads to strong confidence. If you discover that your Teen’s view of self is not positive, you can help to change things and clear the way for success!

What does the SETT measure?

The Self-Esteem Test for Teens measures the teen's self-perception (feelings of confidence or beliefs about him or herself) in the areas of

The 45 items are presented in the following format:

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A brief interpretation and recommendations are provided to the parents, school counselor, or other mental health professional when the teen has completed the profile.

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Who is the SETT for?

This test was originally designed and normed (tested on a group to find the average) for youngsters who are in the 8th through 11th grades. If Teens as old as 12th grade complete the SETT, their answers will be compared to typical answers for males or females in 11th grade. If a child has been grade accelerated, you should decide ahead of time if you want to compare this youngster to same-aged youngsters or grade-level peers. The important thing is that the parent and child (or therapist and child) decide ahead of time how the Teen will answer.

If the child has been accelerated into a higher grade than 8th grade but isn’t the typical age yet of someone in 8th grade, it would be better for the child to complete the SETC, The Self-Esteem Test for Children.

School counselors and child and family therapists can use this instrument, too, as part of any evaluation of a teenager’s current circumstances, self-concept and self-esteem.

Can younger children take the SETT?

No, because the norms are not for children younger than age 13. Children younger than 13 should complete the SETC, which is The Self-Esteem Test for Children, and select a Context that fits the child’s educational circumstances. For example, if the child is with older classmates all or most of the school day, select or write in a Context that fits that situation.

Does the SETT consider different settings besides school?

Yes, there is a list at the beginning of the test that lets the parent and Teen choose which setting—which environment—he or she is thinking about when answering the 45 items.

It says: You and your Teen should select one of the following contexts for taking this test:

  • Regular middle school classroom
  • Regular high school classroom
  • Advanced middle school classroom
  • Advanced high school classroom
  • Accelerated or full-time gifted classroom or school
  • Full-time home schooling
  • Outside school lessons, clubs, activities
  • Other – write in what the” other” is

Your Teen should then answer the questions with that context in mind. It helps to know which kind of setting the Teen is thinking about when considering his or her answers, as a person who is very smart but in a full-time gifted classroom might not feel as smart as when he or she is in a regular classroom with a cross-section of learners.

If you wish to look at other contexts, you can have your Teen take the SETT again using a different context.

Simply select the one that’s closest to what you want to know about, and make sure the Teen sticks to that setting while answering. You may decide to have a child take the test more than once to compare which setting seems to work the best for him or her.

Be sure to read the descriptions of what the SETT measures, too, so that the Teen knows how to answer questions that don’t “fit” his or her circumstances. For example, if the Teen doesn’t have a job and isn’t yet old enough for one, he or she should answer job questions as though he or she already has some kind of paid work or would like to.

How do I know that the SETT is any good? Is it valid?

Research indicates that how children and adolescents perceive themselves is closely correlated with their willingness to participate, their confidence in the different areas, and whether or not they feel depressed and like outsiders looking in.

The online SETT allows for an inexpensive method for the general public to assess how their children feel about themselves in general. High scores indicate the child's “fit” in his or her current activities and environment feels as though it’s working well. Low scores indicate something is not working well, the environmental fit may be wrong, and further exploration is needed to determine what the young person needs.

Based on the work of Susan Harter at the University of Denver, the online assessment precisely follows the paper-and-pencil original designed by Dr. Harter.

The feedback and interpretation provided to clients—once the child or Teen has completed the inventory—is derived from the work of Deborah Ruf, Ph.D., which is based on Harter's work as well as Dr. Ruf’s years of experience using the scales with her own clients.

How can the SETT help my teenager or me?

The results can help you know if your child is struggling with self-esteem issues—issues of low self-confidence—so that you can work toward making things better.

Because TalentIgniter is a site dedicated to discovering and igniting talents, we provide information that typical school-based or therapeutic treatments might not consider. In today's typical school settings, very bright children and teens often struggle to fit in, struggle to find social acceptance, and end up with the feeling that there is something inherently “wrong” with them. Obviously when an adolescent’s self-confidence in any area is low, it affects how he or she appears to others and if he or she shows willingness to try new things.

We encourage parents and mental health practitioners who use our online Self-Esteem Test for Teens in order to consider "School Fit" as a highly probable reason behind some lower SETT scores for bright and gifted teenagers. If the Feedback shows that the young person’s self-esteem is low, we encourage parents and mental health practitioners to first work toward identifying what the youngster needs in order to thrive in the educational setting socially, emotionally, and academically. Make any changes necessary to first achieve that goal. Then, if the Teen is still not doing well, look for other possible causes and remedies.

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Self-Esteem Test for Teens