In Canada, girls sense of self-worth – their positive identity – declines throughout early adolescence. In grade 6 40% of girls identify as having strong self-esteem. By grade 10 that number drops to 18%.
Positive identity, according to the Search Institute is defined as: Young people need to believe in their own self-worth and to feel that they have control over the things that happen to them.
Our work attempted to stop that decline and, where possible, help girls see and develop stronger positive identities. We were successful with these two goals across seven schools and two provinces!
Girls who started the program with healthy positive identities maintained this view of themselves throughout the program. Girls who started the program with poor positive identities ended the program with healthier positive identities and maintained these healthy views of themselves months after the program ended.
We also saw girls improve on other healthy developmental assets.