Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Norman St. Clair


David Campos


William Carleton


Jessica C. Kimmel


The purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine how men who attended a single-sex elementary and middle school as a boy describe their experiences following their transition to coeducational high schools and how the participants perceived those experiences influenced their global self-esteem during the first years in high school. Two questions guided the research. 1) What changes, if any, did the men in this study perceive in their global self-esteem, as measured by the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale after their transition from a single-sex middle school to a coeducational high school? 2) If there were changes to the levels of global self-esteem, how much of the change do these men perceive was attributed to the influence of the different educational environments of the single-sex school and the coeducational school? Using a qualitative case study methodology, data was collected through interviews, self-surveys, demographic questionnaires, and artifacts. Each participant reported a decrease in their global self-esteem during the first year of attending a coeducational high school. Data analysis revealed three central themes extracted from the perceptions of the participants that influenced the reported decrease in self-esteem following the transition from a single-sex middle school to a coeducational high school: (a) a feeling of loss of both peer and adult relationships that were built over many years, (b) participants experienced a change in values and ethics once they entered the coeducational high school, and (c) The focus of competition changed from self- improvement and team building to the goal of dominating others.