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L’objectif de cette étude est d’examiner la corrélation entre diverses variables psychologiques et les expériences des élèves en vie quotidienne. La méthode d’échantillonnage des expériences (Experience Sampling Method [ESM]) a été utilisée pour récolter des données répétées en vie quotidienne, hors temps scolaire, auprès de 128 élèves en classe de sixième en réussite ou en difficulté scolaire. Ces élèves ont aussi complété des questionnaires traditionnels concernant l’estime de soi, l’anxiété et la dépression. Les enfants en difficulté scolaire avaient une estime de soi plus faible et plus de symptomatologie anxieuse ou dépressive que les enfants en réussite. On observe aussi une corrélation entre un haut niveau d’anxiété et de dépression clinique et des niveaux d’affect anxieux et dépressif plus importants en vie quotidienne, de même qu’avec un impact perçu des évènements quotidiens plus élevé. Cependant, les résultats montrent que l’estime de soi n’était pas significativement associée à l’humeur anxieuse ou dépressive en vie quotidienne, ni à l’impact perçu des évènements. Ces résultats nous indiquent que si certaines variables psychologiques semblent souvent avoir des effets communs, il convient de les étudier distinctement pour comprendre leur rôle spécifique en vie quotidienne.
Learning difficulties at school are characterized by complex causes and serious consequences both socially and psychologically. Various studies have established the link between learning difficulties and low self-esteem [3, 4, 5, 6, 7] as well as their fundamental role in determining the pupil’s future and their daily experiences. However, some research has also shown that children with learning difficulties often have other emotional problems, notably higher anxiety and depression scores [9, 10, 11, 12, 13], which raises the question of the specific role of self-esteem. The objective of this article is to examine the potentially independent role of these psychological variables (self-esteem, anxiety and depression) and their distinct impact on the daily life of pupils with learning difficulties.
Participants: two groups of sixth grade pupils were selected based on their results in national tests in French and Math according to their rate of correct responses in the two subjects (TRC2M): one group of students “highest school performance” (TRC2M>80%) and the other “poorest school performance” (TRC2M<50%). These pupils were chosen from ten randomly selected middle schools in the Gironde: “normal” middle schools (n=5) or middle schools in educational priority zones (“ZEP”; n=5). In total, 128 adolescents in sixth grade (55% girls) took part and the average age was 11.44 (SD=.62). Sixty-six of these pupils were doing well and 62 were struggling. Procedure: using the Experience Sampling Method (ESM), the participants were equipped with a PSION REVO palmtop computer for a period of 7 consecutive days. Every time the integrated computer alarm emitted a beep, pupils were invited to respond to a series of questions on the screen. These alarms sounded outside school hours and the pupils were questioned about their physical and social environments, their activities and their moods in their daily lives. Alongside this method, pupils had to respond to clinical questionnaires measuring anxiety, depression, self-esteem, and also provide sociodemographic information. The data was analyzed with the help of multilevel models to examine the role of individual differences concerning self-esteem, anxiety and depression on intra-individual variables, such as emotional states, perceived impact of events and emotional reactivity to stress.
Children with learning difficulties had lower self-esteem and greater anxiety or depressive symptomatology than students who were doing well. However, with the ESM method, the results showed that self-esteem was not significantly associated with anxious or depressive moods, or with the perceived impact of negative events. In contrast, the level of anxiety and clinical depression was associated with higher daily levels of anxious or depressive affect, even with a higher perceived impact of daily events.
Thanks to the ESM method, the independent relationships linking self-esteem, anxiety and depression in the pupil’s daily life were analyzed. Contrary to what was observed with the anxiety trait and depression, self-esteem was not significantly associated with negative affect in daily life, with perceived impact of events or with emotional reactivity. These results are useful in the prevention or appropriate treatment as they suggest that distinctive strategies are necessary to improve low self-esteem in relation to other emotional problems in this population. To identify possible therapeutic targets, future studies could examine the links between self-esteem and other aspects of daily life, such as positive emotions, social interactions, or other variables not examined in the current study.
Mots clés : Réussite scolaire, Anxiété, Dépression, Estime de soi, Gestion émotionnelle
Keywords : Academic achievement, Anxiety, Depression, Self esteem, Emotional regulation