The current research focused on exploring the relationship between personality factors and self-concept among runaway individuals. Another main objective of the study was to find out the level of Personality Factors and Self-Concept in this population. Total participants (N=50) individuals (n=25) men and (n=25) women were selected from shelter homes of different cities of Punjab, Pakistan. Adjective Check List Urdu (Fay, Sechrest, & Zaaidi, 1972) and Urdu Adjective Check List (Ansari, Farooqi, Khan, & Yasmin, 1982) were used to measure the variables of Personality Factors and Self-Concept respectively. Pearson Product Moment Correlation and t-test were used for statistical analysis. Results indicated weak correlation between Personality Factors and Self-Concept among runaway individuals. This study in addition concluded an insignificant difference on Self-Concept and personality factors among men and women in runaway population. Implications of these findings and suggestions for future researches are also discussed.
Key Words: Personality factors, self concept, runaway, individuals, Punjab, Pakistan.
The word personality is originated from the Latin word persona, which refers to as cover worn by actors in an engage in recreation. Based on its root, personality refers to use outsider and visible uniqueness; those aspects of an individual that other people can see. It can also be defined as the noticeable aspect of one’s distinctiveness as it impresses others (Schultz, 2001).
Personality is a complex, multidimensional concept. It is the total configuration of characteristics, ways of feelings thinking, and behaving that comprise the individual's method of adapting and reacting to his environment. The term personality include character, temperament and self, character is the moral side of the personality; temperament is the emotional side, and the self, the integrated core of personality, represented by “I”(Kagan & Segal, 1988).
Self-concept refers to “the composite of ideas feelings, and attitudes people have about themselves”. Self-concept can also be considered as our effort to explain ourselves to ourselves, to build a scheme that organizes our notions, sentiments and approach about ourselves. But this scheme is not enduring, incorporated or static. In every phase of our life our self-perceptions vary from situation to situation (Woolfolk, 1998).
A person’s thinking about himself affects his behavior to a great degree. A positive view of self makes one confident giving him high self-esteem which results in a positive self-concept. Positive self-concepts make him feel capable and competent. His actions demonstrate those feelings, and others react positively to his actions, which, in turn, validate those feelings. These conditions are promoted in individuals’ security and self-confidence which results in a well adjusted social behavior. On the other side, low love of self, and lack of positive opinion about self, a lot of criticism and judgment, blaming yourself and having self-doubt contribute to a negative self-concept. In this, the person experiences uncertainty and lack of self-confidence in his capabilities which results in general anxiety in situation. These negative feelings affect his actions and others’ reactions, validating negative feelings about self. In these situations, the adolescent’s personal and social conduct loses its balance. At each stage individuals have to face divergence or crisis. Their dealings with crisis affect their development. A positive dealing leads to positive self-concept while a negative dealing leads to negative self-concept (Jerajani, 2006).
The term “runaway individuals’” encompasses individuals with varied life trajectories and reasons for finding their way to shelters. Runaway individuals' are typically defined as unaccompanied youth ages 12 and older (up to age 17, 21, or 24) who are without family support and who are living in shelters, on the streets, in cars or vacant buildings, or who are “coach surfing” or living in other unstable circumstances. In the current research individuals living in shelters are selected to study.
The present study was designed to find out the relationship between personality factors and self-concept among run away individuals. And it further aimed to explore the grooming of personality factors and self-concept among run away individuals living in Pakistan.
The current research was an attempt to recognize that runaway people as individuals in crisis rather than stereotypes, and that like anyone else they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Running away from home is one of the crucial issues not only in west but now in Pakistan as well. The term “runaway individuals” encompasses individuals with varied life trajectories. Most of the literature on runaway individuals is found with reference to west and other parts of the world. And various studies suggested that the primary cause of individuals running away from home is family dysfunction in the form of parental neglect, parental marital conflicts, physical or sexual abuse, family substance abuse and family violence (Tyler, 2006). Runaway life exposes them to additional risks or victimization. For instance majority of boys indulge in delinquent activities and addiction. Girls mostly rapped and in some cases they are forced to live in red light area.
Surprisingly there is less knowledge to public of the significance of runaway children and their problems particularly in less developed Asian countries which include Pakistan. This problem is becoming more serious due to deteriorating financial and political condition and coming into consideration of the government.
While as per my knowledge a little research work is available on this area in Pakistan. Personality factors and self-concept are the variables which are studied by targeting various other populations such as students, professionals, and parents. Therefore a true picture of whether there is any relationship between personality factors and self-concept exists or not in runaway individuals is still missing with reference to Pakistani culture.