Background: Self-esteem is one of the most important human needs protecting against anxiety and stressful events, and has become a concept of more special interest to psychologists in recent decades than before.
Objectives: The current study aimed to investigate the relationship between self-esteem and heterosexual orientation with moderating role of coping strategies among female high school students in Isfahan.
Patients and Methods: The population consisted of all female high school students enrolled in Isfahan high schools in the academic year 2013-2014. A total of 117 students were randomly selected from six educational districts in Isfahan, Iran. The research tools included Coopersmith self-esteem inventory for adolescents and young adults, Billings and Moos inventory of coping strategies as well as Iranian adolescents risk statement. Pearson correlation, multiple regression analysis and AMOS software were used for data analysis.
Results: The results showed that the correlation between self-esteem and heterosexual orientation was -0.39, and correlation coefficients of self-esteem and problem-focused and emotion-focused coping strategies were 0.57 and -0.24, respectively. The effects of problem-focused and emotion-focused coping strategies on tendency to the opposite sex were -0.51 and 0.37 (P < 0.01), respectively.
Conclusions: According to the obtained results, increased self-esteem reduces the heterosexual orientation among the students. This reduction is more pronounced with respect to problem-oriented coping strategies than emotion-focused coping strategies. Regarding the effectiveness of problem-focused coping strategies on tendency to the opposite sex, the teachers and school authorities are recommended to reinforce problem-focused coping strategies and replace it with emotion-focused coping strategies.