Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Caroline Kirwan 

BSc [Hons] Applied Psychology

I am nearly a graduate of BSc Applied Psychology at IADT. I have developed a passion for positive psychology and the impact various psychological practices can have on health, self-esteem and well-being. As such, I aim to complete a master's degree in behavioural medicine to help me work in the healthcare sector. I hope to learn how to prevent and treat psychological conditions which present as physiological problems and further aid in rehabilitation through psychological techniques and procedures. I have been offered a place in a masters programme and will begin my further studies in September 2023.

Project Description

There is a multitude of factors which can impact self-esteem. Physical appearance is a prevalent but under-researched factor. The psychological value of clothes serves the purpose of self-expression, identity expression, and increasing self-esteem. Healthy levels of self-esteem are important and beneficial for several life domains, including mental and physical health, education and work, relationships and anti-social behaviour. There is a considerable amount of research focusing on the correlation between women's level of fashion consciousness and level of self-esteem, but very few gender-inclusive studies. As such, this project took a quantitative approach to research the impact of gender and fashion consciousness on self-esteem.

Project Objectives

This study aimed to investigate the impact of fashion consciousness and gender on self-esteem. Self-esteem is a fundamental human need and is regularly associated within psychology as vital in an array of important life outcomes. This study aimed to investigate whether high levels of fashion consciousness can be associated with high levels of self-esteem, and whether there is a significant difference between genders. This study aimed to provide readers and future researchers with information that could aid them in improving their levels of self-esteem through fashion consciousness. The research questions of this study were;

1: What is the impact of gender and fashion consciousness on self-esteem?

2: Does fashion consciousness moderate the relationship between gender and self-esteem

3: Does gender moderate the relationship between fashion consciousness and self-esteem

Project Outcomes

The results of this study indicate that there is a significant relationship between fashion consciousness and self-esteem. People who had higher levels of self-esteem had lower levels of fashion consciousness. There are no gender differences in levels of self-esteem. The study addresses the lack of research on gender inclusivity in fashion and self-esteem studies. This study addressed gaps in the literature concerning the relationship between self-esteem and fashion consciousness, differences between genders in self-esteem, and differences between genders in fashion consciousness. This study supported previous research, which suggests gender does not impact self-esteem. However, this study contradicts previous research, which suggests that fashion consciousness positively affects self-esteem. The implications of these findings indicate that future research should be conducted on self-esteem and methods of increasing self-esteem.

Thesis Title

Investigating the Impact of Gender and Fashion Consciousness on Self-esteem.