Date of Completion


Degree Type

Honors Thesis


Psychology (PSYC)

First Advisor

Dr. Nora Murphy


The present study investigated the psychology of linguistic self-esteem in bilingual speakers. Previous research suggested that students’ self-esteem strongly correlated with academic achievement, but current studies also suggest these trends may differ across ethnic minority groups and their majority group peers (Baumeister, Campbell, Krueger, & Vohs, 2003; Ferguson & Cramer, 2007). In addition, the growing bilingual student population in the United States highlights a need to assess how multiple languages interact with students’ self-esteem in academic settings (NCES, 2019). Recently, the Language Efficacy and Acceptance Dimension Scale was developed to assess linguistic self-esteem in bilingual adults (Neugebauer, 2011). Participants who are bilingual in English and Spanish were recruited and randomly assigned to read a simple or complex passage written in Spanish and complete various psychosocial measures. Because complex syntax could lead to lower levels of comprehension, it was predicted that those who read the complex passage will have lower linguistic self-esteem compared to those who read the simple passage. While the hypothesis was not supported, exploratory analyses gave insight into the relationship between linguistic self-esteem and constructs like cultural identity and affect.

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Psychology Commons