Personality and Social Problem-Solving: The Mediating Role of Self-Esteem

Problem-solving skills are essential in dealing with issues arising each and every life situations.  In social problem solving an individual identifies the most effective solutions to problems they go through in their daily living and then find the solutions. An individual utilizes cognitive and behavioral aspects to develop ways of dealing with problems (Nermin, 482). Problem solving is termed as conscious and rational and it is purposefully undertaken. It is believed that the ability to solve problems involves two aspects; problem orientation and problem-solving styles.  Problem orientation is a metacognitive process involving appraisals, general beliefs, ability to solve problems as well and development of feeling towards the problem (Nermin, 482). It includes two aspects, the positive and negative problem orientation. In positive problem orientation, the person accepts the problem at hand as a challenge and believes that it can successfully be solved. However, in negative problem orientation, the individual views the issue as a threat (Nermin, 482) therefore, there is no possibility of a solution thus  resulting in frustrations.

Problem-solving style involves logical problem solving, avoidance style and impulsivity style. These techniques employ both cognitive and behavioral activities thus enabling an individual develops an understanding of the problem, hence promoting effective coping. Through efficient problem solving, a person is able to improve the active coping. However, ineffective problem-solving skills lead to development of mental or emotional health problems.

There is a significant interrelationship between the positive and negative well beings such as aggression, depression, psychological stress and decision making. Research shows that neuroticism aspect of personality is significantly associated with negative problem orientation while conscientiousness and being open were highly related to effective problem solving ability.

Self-esteem is the effective orientation towards self or a person’s view of themselves.  Self-esteem is the primary factor that determines an individual’s wellbeing and social functionality. Research shows that a great interrelationship exists between social problem-solving ability and personality with the self-esteem mediating the two. Besides, there is a positive correlation between self-esteem and emotional stability, openness, conscientiousness, and agreeableness. Also, there is a positive correlation of self-esteem with actual problem solving while it is negatively correlated with negative problem orientation.

A cross-sectional design study was conducted involving undergraduate university students in a university from the western part of Turkey. The students were administered with questioners to help determine if there was any relationship that existed between personality, self-esteem, and social problem solving. Another aim was to determine if self-esteem mediates any relationship between personality and problem solving, from the study, it was clear that there is a relationship between personality and social problem solving with self-esteem mediating the two (Nermin, 484). Furthermore, there was a positive correlation between social problem solving and extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness. However, social problem solving correlated negatively with neuroticism. This, a person with neurotic characteristics has ineffective problem-solving skills and therefore tends to ha have a problem with adjustments ( Nermin, 485). It, therefore, true to say that poor social problem-solving skills lead to ineffective problem solving thereby affecting the mental and emotional health of an individual. Besides, the research also identified social problem solving as a multidimensional aspect covering cognitive components; performance based processing steps and perpetual skills (Nermin, 485).

In conclusion, it is important to note a direct relationship between social problem-solving self-esteem and personality exists. Also, self-esteem is necessary for mediating the indirect relationship between personality and social problem solving. Through knowledge gained from the above skills, counselors, and teachers in schools can be able to develop effective prevention programs. In this, self-esteem should be considered when preparing prevention programs that enhance the development of problem-solving skills. Consequently, the personality of a person cannot be changed through the establishment of a program, but rather it can be improved through alteration of the self-esteem (Nermin, 486).  Therefore, when coming up with counseling programs personality and self-esteem are important aspects that should be considered since they are major determinants of social problem solving.

Posts Tagged with… ,

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *