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Home > Research Articles > Global Study of Self-Esteem Yields Surprises

AScribe Newswire

Monday, November 11, 2002

AScribe Newswire - November 06, 2002

DAVIS, Calif., Nov. 6 (AScribe Newswire) -- Self-esteem across a life span can be like riding a roller coaster, starting with an inflated sense of self-approval in late childhood, dropping precipitously in adolescence and then rising steadily through adulthood only to plummet to the lowest point in late old age, according to a new study in the journal Psychology and Aging.

In perhaps the largest global study of self-esteem, University of California, Davis psychologist Richard Robins and other researchers provide the most comprehensive picture to date of age differences from ages 9 to 90. More than 350,000 participants completed a questionnaire by visiting a World Wide Web site in 1999 and 2000.

The research sample was diverse in terms of age, ethnicity and nationality, although Caucasians and those from the United States dominated the survey.

Women, in general, had lower self-esteem than men, although both genders have identical high levels between the ages of 9 and 12. "During adolescence, girls' self-esteem dropped about twice as much as boys'," Robins says.

Only in their 70s do both genders begin to show similar levels of self-esteem that drop through the last decades of life. The drop could be due to declining health, socioeconomic status and achievement experiences following retirement. Robins says it could also result from a more modest and balanced view of the self.

-30- AScribe - The Public Interest Newswire / 510-653-9400 ©2002 AScribe News, Inc.