Kamilė Pociūtė1, Darja Rojaka1, Sigita Lesinskienė1,2
1Vilnius University Medical Faculty, Vilnius, Lithuania
2Vilnius University Medical Faculty Psychiatric Clinic, Vilnius, Lithuania
Aims: To investigate the self-esteem of medical students and the link between self-esteem and the various aspects of their birthday celebrations.
Methods: 309 Vilnius University Faculty of Medicine year 4 (n=146) and year 5 (n=163) students were interviewed by the means of an anonymous questionnaire. The self-esteem was measured using the Rosenberg self-esteem scale. The results were divided into three groups, corresponding to a low, medium and high self-esteem. The aspects of birthday celebrations were investigated by the means of 15 open-type questions. The statistical analysis of the results was performed using SPSS Statistics 22.0 and Windows Excel.
Results: 217 females and 92 males participated in the study. 61.5% of the participants have corresponded to the medium self-esteem group, 11% – the low self-esteem and 27.2% – the high self-esteem group. The mean self-esteem score was 20.93 for females and 22.36 for males. 12.4% of female participants have corresponded to the low self-esteem group, 64.5% – the medium self-esteem and 23% – the high self-esteem group. 7.6%, 54.3% and 37% of male participants have corresponded to the low, medium and high self-esteem groups respectively. Female respondents noted that they feel better (p=0.016) and more cared for (p=0.002) on their birthday rather than an average day when compared to the male respondents. The difference between the female and the male groups was statistically significant (Mann-Whitney U, (p<0.05). Spearman’s correlation coefficient revealed a weak correlation (0.2-0.4) between birthday anticipation and feeling better and more cared for on their birthday when compared to an average day.
Conclusions: Students with a higher self-esteem exhibit a stronger anticipation towards their birthdays. They also feel better and more cared for on their birthdays. Although further research is needed, the correlational results found in this study suggest that individuals with low self-esteem might benefit from spending their birthdays in a more joyful manner, as it might have a positive impact of their self-perception.