Religious denomination, religiosity, and self-esteem among Jewish early adolescent girls

Eva Lazar-Sultanik, Fordham University


This study examined the relationship between religiosity and religious denomination and Jewish early adolescent girls' self-esteem. The sample consisted of Modern Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform middle school aged girls who attend Jewish schools in Bergen County, New Jersey. A total of 133 girls completed the Harter's Self-Perception Profile for Children, Allport and Ross's Religious Orientation Scale, Katz's Student Religiosity Questionnaire, and a student demographic survey. Quantitative results indicated that global self-esteem was unrelated to Jewish denomination, extrinsic, or intrinsic religiosity. This study found that greater adherence to religious practices and principles were not predictive of lower global self-esteem. No significant differences in the levels of global self-esteem among Intrinsic, Indiscriminately Pro-Religious, Extrinsic, or Non-Religious girls were found. Qualitative and quantitative findings indicated trends of high self-esteem among Jewish early adolescent girls independent of religious denomination. This research established a baseline of the self-esteem of Jewish early adolescent girls across varying denominations. The results of this research can assist leaders across formal and informal educational settings to make better informed decisions regarding the necessity of developing and providing prevention programs with additional Judaic components. American Jewish programs need to be more sensitive in developing innovative and “girl-friendly” approaches tackling issues surrounding modesty.

Subject Area

Religion|Educational psychology|Developmental psychology|Gender studies

Recommended Citation

Lazar-Sultanik, Eva, "Religious denomination, religiosity, and self-esteem among Jewish early adolescent girls" (2011). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3461882.