The Role of Affirmation in the Development of the Self


  • Thomas Cottle School of Education, Boston University


affirmation, self child and youth care work


This essay attempts to describe how the individual self is formed not only by others' perceptions of it, but also by the need of the self to be affirmed and thereby give confirmation to its sense of worth. Theoretically, the self must define itself both in relation to another self as well as apart from another self It employs objects partly to affirm itself and teach itself who it is. Through the affirmation of others, the self ultimately feels pride and a sense of liberation. It is argued, moreover, that affirmations render the boundaries between people distinct thereby making it pos­ sible for one to develop a sense of a true self Finally, the development of the self and the role of affirmation are put in the context of child and youth work.




How to Cite

Cottle , T. . (2003). The Role of Affirmation in the Development of the Self. Journal of Child and Youth Care Work, 18, 30–41. Retrieved from