Question 3
You are in charge of organizing a state wide task force to consider the role of self-esteem in adolescent development. Some of the potential team members who you have contacted have expressed great concern for attempting to “promote self-esteem” as they feel that adolescents’ self-esteem level is already too high. Afterall, “we do not need to raise another generation of entitled narcissists!” Other potential members of the group suggest that it is extremely important to examine and promote self-esteem because it would have many positive long-term benefits such as fewer adolescent [[#|psychological disorders]], less societal crime, less [[#|depression]] and suicide, etc.
As the leader of this task force, consider the two different sides of this argument. Who is correct? Consider self-esteem in its broad context. In creating your response, consider the language of the course, and frame your writing in relevant peer-reviewed research.


I. MATERIAL FROM TEXTBOOK (Organized By Chapter)

  1. Chapter 1
-Positive Development- The [[#|study]] of factors that encourage adolescents to develop in a positive direction
- Very important to acknowledge a potential for a positive development to assist in eliminating risky behaviors.
-Storm and Stress- The belief that adolescence is necessarily a very tumultuous period.
- the life of an adolescent is changing and seems to always be in flux
Chapter 10
  1. Self-esteem in relation to puberty and body changes(p. 340-342)
    1. Studies indicate that girls suffer a decline in self-esteem during the early adolescent years; this is amplified by girls who are farther along in their development
    2. Impact of puberty on body image: boys-taller, more muscular; girls- weight gain, breast development
  2. Psychological conformity to traditional gender roles
    1. Girls- expected to be sensitive, sympathetic, non-combative
2. Boys-expected to be independent, assertive, emotionally stoic

Chapter 6
  • Who cares what they say?
    • oNeed to Belong (p. 185)
      • §The drive to be part of the social group and to feel accepted by others
        • Ready-made sense of identity
        • Expression of pride in the group they belong to and tend to idealize other members of the group
        • Sense of self is based on the way our peers see and respond to us
          • oNegatively – direct threat to self-esteem
            • § Feel inadequate, isolated, and/or ashamed
          • oPostively – psychological self-protection
            • §Avoid predators
            • § Resist aggressors
Comparing figure 6.2 (conformity to peer pressure) and 11.2 (Self-esteem through the lifetime)
  • Research shows that baseline self-esteem is close to the lowest point an individual will see in a lifetime during adolescence, which contradicts the statement that teenagers today are entitled narcissists who have inappropriately high levels of self-esteem. (McMahan, 2009, p. 363)
  • Conformity to peers rises in early adolescence, peaks in middle adolescence and begins to decline in late adolescence (McMahan, 2009, p. 186)
    • 3rd – 6th grade: self-esteem drops dramatically while social conformity rises
    • 6th – 9th grade: self-esteem continues to drop while social conformity peaks
    • 9th – 12th grade: self-esteem is extremely low, but will begin to rise while social conformity begins to decline.
  1. Chapter 11
  • Self-Esteem
    • Baseline self-esteem-the level of positive or negative feelings about the self that is fairly stable over time (McMahan, 2009, p. 362)
      • Early adolescence marks a major decrease in the average level
        • Puberty
        • Ability to think more abstractly about the self
        • [[#|School]] transition
        • Girls are more severely affected than boys
    • Barometric self-esteem- temporary changes in positive or negative feelings about the self that occur in response to particular incidents (McMahan, 2009, p. 363)
      • Swings are wider and more frequent in early adolescence, as a result of personal and social changes
    • Contributors:
      • #1Physical attractiveness
      • #2Social acceptance
      • Sense of ethnic identity
    • Potential [[#|consequences]]of self-esteem (McMahan, 2009, p. 365)
      • School achievement
      • Personal [[#|relationships]]
      • Aggression
      • Problem behaviors
      • Hotly debated by social scientists
  • Consequences of Low Self-Esteem
    • Lower achievement in school (DuBois & Tevendale, 1999)
    • Increased Aggressive Patterns (Donnellan, et. al. 2005)
    • antissocial behavior (Donnellan, et. al. 2005)
  • Combatting low Self-Esteem
    • Provide adolescents with social esperiences that help buid their interpersonal skills (DuBois et. al. 2003)
    • Provide adolescents with experiences that help build their confidence (DuBois et. al. 2003)
Chapter 13
Causes of Depression (McMahan, 2009, p. 456-457)
  • Diathesis-Stress Model- “The theory that depression results from a combination of a predisposing vulnerability (diathesis) and the impact of negative events (stess)” (McMahan, 2009, p. 456)
  • Family background- inherited vulnerabilities and influence of parent’s depression
  • Stress factors- moving, puberty, divorce, peers, romantic relationships
  • Cognitive factors- the way in which a person internalizes events
  • Girls are more prone to stress than boys, resulting in higher likelihood for depression

Individual Characteristics (McMahan, 2009, p. 439)
  • Hormonal functioning affects personality
    • o Low cortisol levels show more externalizing problems (in boys)
    • o Boys with low levels could experience a lack of fear and anxiety
    • oBoys with low levels could need higher levels of stimulation in order to feel excitement
      • § This would lead to increased risk taking and antisocial behaviors
  • o Hostile attribution bias
    • § A tendency to interpret ambiguous cues and situations as reflecting hostile intent and to respond aggressively to them
    • § Leading them to be more likely to respond aggressively to even minor or unintentional peer clashes


Substance Use: Comparative Tests in Concurrent

and Prospective Analyses

Thomas Ashby [[#|Wills]]

The relationship of positive and negative dimensions of self-esteem and perceived

control to substance (tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana) use was tested with a sample of

1,775 adolescents, surveyed in 8th grade and followed up 1 year later. Esteem and

control were highly correlated. Concurrent multiple regression analyses with simultaneous

entry indicated internal control inversely related, and self-derogation positively

related, to substance use; the unique contribution for control variables was 6.4 times the

unique contribution for esteem variables. In prospective analyses, only internal control

was significant. Self-attitudes were less relevant in general for substance use among

Black adolescents compared with Hispanic and White adolescents; self-derogation was

less relevant for adolescents in single-families compared with two-parent families.

Previous findings on self-esteem and substance use may be partially reflecting the effect

of perceived control.

[[#|Wills]], T. (1994). Self-esteem and perceived control in adolescent substance use: Comparative tests in concurrent and prospective analyses. [[#|Psychology]] Of Addictive Behaviors, 8(4), 223-234. doi:10.1037/0893-164X.8.4.223

Low Self-esteem during adolescence predicts poor health, criminal behavior, and limited economic prospects during adulthood.
Trzesniewski, K. H., Donnellan, M., Moffitt, T. E., Robins, R. W., Poulton, R., & Caspi, A. (2006). Low self-esteem during adolescence predicts poor health, criminal behavior, and limited economic prospects during adulthood. Developmental Psychology, 42(2), 381-390. Doi:10.1037/0012-1649.42.2.381
Using prospective data from the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study birth cohort, the authors found that adolescents with low self-esteem had poorer mental and physical health, worse economic prospects, and higher levels of criminal behavior during adulthood, compared with adolescents with high self-esteem. The long-term consequences of self-esteem could not be explained by adolescent depression, gender, or socioeconomic status. Moreover, the findings held when the outcome variables were assessed using objective measures and informant reports; therefore, the findings cannot be explained by shared method variance in self-report data. The findings suggest that low self-esteem during adolescence predicts negative real-world consequences during adulthood. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)
In this study, they wanted to see if low self-esteem in adolescence leads to negative real-world consequences later in life. They found that SES, gender and adolescent depression could not explain the findings with low self-esteem leading to negative real-world consequences. Overall, it showed there is a link between self-esteem and real-world outcomes in their adulthood.

Self-Esteem, academic self-concept, and achievement: How the learning environment moderates the dynamics of self-concept.
Trautwein, U., Lüdtke, O., Köller, O., & Baumert, J. (2006). Self-esteem, academic self-concept, an achievement: How the learning learning environment moderates the dynamics of self-concept. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90(2), 334-349. Doi:10.1037/0022-3514.90.2.334
The authors examine the directionality of effects between global self-esteem, domain-specific academic self-concepts, and academic achievement. Special emphasis is placed on learning environments as potential moderators of the direction of these effects.According to the meritocracy principle presented here, so-called bottom-up effects (i.e., self-esteem is influenced by academic self-concept) are more pronounced in meritocratic learning environments than in ego-protective learning environments. This hypothesis was examined using a three-wave cross-lagged panel design with a large sample of 7th graders from East and West Germany, a total of 5,648 students who were tested shortly after German reunification. Reciprocal effects were found between self-esteem, academic self-concept, and academic achievement. In conformance with the meritocracy principle, support for bottom-up effects was stronger in the meritocratic learning environment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)
In this study, they identify how academic self-concept and global self-esteem relate. They go on to further discuss how important effort is to overall success and self-concept. Additionally, they look how self-esteem, academic self-concept and achievement all interrelate and overall correlate to the learning environment.

The Girl-Crisis Movement: Evaluating the [[#|Foundation]]

Michael Farady

Austin, Texas

[[#|Psychologists]] played a major role behind the widely publicized and popular idea of a crisis among girls.

In this paper, several topics basic to the girl-crisis movement are examined. Suggested by the works of

[[#|psychologists]] Carol Gilligan and Mary Pipher, the topics are voice, self-esteem, and psychology’s role

in harming girls. Expected sex differences in voice and self-esteem were not found. The girl-crisis notion

that contemporary [[#|psychology]] has colluded in harming girls is at odds with the arc of the profession. The

wide divergence between the basic claims of the girl-crisis movement and these findings are discussed.

Further critique is recommended.

Keywords: feminism, Gilligan, Pipher, loss of voice, reviving Ophelia, silencing

[[#|Study]] showing that girls might not be suffering from self-esteem problems

Farady, M. (2010). The girl-crisis movement: Evaluating the foundation. Review Of General Psychology, 14(1), 44-55. doi:10.1037/a0019024

  1. Life-span development of self-esteem and its effects on important life outcomes

    Orth, U., Robins, R. W., & Widaman, K. F. (2012). Life-span development of self-esteem and its effects on important life outcomes. Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology, 102(6), 1271-1288. doi:10.1037/a0025558
    1. Abstract: We examined the life-span development of self-esteem and tested whetherself-esteem influences the development of important life outcomes, including relationship satisfaction, job satisfaction, occupational status, salary, positive and negative affect, depression, and physical health. Data came from the Longitudinal Study of Generations. Analyses were based on 5 assessments across a 12-year period of a sample of 1,824 individuals ages 16 to 97 years. First, growth curve analyses indicated that self-esteem increases from adolescence to middle adulthood, reaches a peak at about age 50 years, and then decreases in old age. Second, cross-lagged regression analyses indicated thatself-esteem is best modeled as a cause rather than a consequence of life outcomes. Third, growth curve analyses, withself-esteem as a time-varying covariate, suggested that self-esteem has medium-sized effects on life-span trajectories of affect and depression, small to medium-sized effects on trajectories of relationship and job satisfaction, a very small effect on the trajectory of health, and no effect on the trajectory of occupational status. These findings replicated across 4 generations of participants—children, parents, grandparents, and their great-grandparents. Together, the results suggest that self-esteem has a significant prospective impact on real-world life experiences and that high and low self-esteem are not mere epiphenomena of success and failure in important life domains. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) (ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR)

    2. Summary: It has been long debated whether those with high self-esteem have a better life outcome than those with low self-esteem. This article seeks to shed some light on this debate. The article found that self-esteem was related to higher levels of relationship satisfaction, job satisfaction, occupational status, salary, and physical health. It is interesting to note that none of these life outcomes had reciprocal effects on self-esteem. This means that self-esteem seems to be a cause of positive life outcomes not a consequence. It also is interesting that the researchers found that these results held consistent across generations. Meaning that regardless of being born in the 1900s or 1980s, self-esteem had significant benefits for people's experiences of love, work, and health. This supports the researches hypothesis that there are many beneficial consequences of having a high self-esteem.

  2. Are Normal Narcissists Psychologically Healthy? Self-Esteem Matters.

    Sedikides, C., Rudich, E. A., Gregg, A. P., Kumashiro, M., & Rusbult, C. (2004). Are Normal Narcissists Psychologically Healthy?: Self-Esteem Matters. Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology, 87(3), 400-416. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.87.3.400

    1. Abstract: Five studies established that normal narcissism is correlated with good psychological health. Specifically, narcissism is (a) inversely related to daily sadness and dispositional depression, (b) inversely related to daily and dispositional loneliness, (c) positively related to daily and dispositional subjective well-being as well as couple well-being, (d) inversely related to daily anxiety, and (e) inversely related to dispositional neuroticism. More important, self-esteem fully accounted for the relation between narcissism and psychological health. Thus, narcissism is beneficial for psychological health only insofar as it is associated with high self-esteem.Explanations of the main and mediational findings in terms of response or social desirability biases (e.g., defensiveness, repression, impression management) were ruled out. Supplementary analysis showed that the links among narcissism, self-esteem, and psychological health were preponderantly linear. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract) (ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR)
    2. Summary: This study found that narcissism is really quite beneficial to a person's self-esteem along with having many other benefits like low daily sadness and loneliess. Because of this, high narcissists are relatively free from worry and gloom. I believe that this is applicable to this case because as a society narcissism is looked down upon, but research shows that the characteristics of the narcissist, like high self-esteem, are actually very beneficial. To try to answer the question above, it may be important to note that the article points out self-esteem as a benefit of narcissism not a cause. The means that inhibiting adolescents' self-esteem because we believe it "causes" narcissism may not be statistically supported.

    3. Examining associations between narcissism, behavior problems, and anxiety in non-referred adolescents. Lau, K. L., Marsee, M. A., Kunimatsu, M. M., & Fassnacht, G. M. (2011). Examining associations between narcissism, behavior problems, and anxiety in non-referred adolescents. Child & Youth Care Forum, 40(3), 163-176.

  • Abstract: The present study examined associations between narcissism (total, adaptive, and maladaptive), self-esteem, and externalizing and internalizing problems in 157 non-referred adolescents (aged 14 to 18). Consistent with previous research, narcissism was positively associated with self-reported delinquency, overt aggression, and relational aggression. Maladaptive narcissism showed unique positive associations with aggression and delinquency variables, while adaptive narcissism showed unique negative associations with anxiety symptoms. In general, self-esteem was negatively related to internalizing and externalizing problems. An interaction effect was observed for self-esteem and narcissism in predicting overt aggression. Specifically, at high levels of self-esteem narcissism was significantly associated with overt aggression, whereas it was not at low levels of self-esteem. The current results add to the growing body of research on the role of narcissism in the development of adjustment problems in youth. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) (ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR)

  • Summary: This study looks at the relationship between narcissism and self-esteem. The results show that high self-esteem may be influential in narcissistic youth engagement in aggressive acts. Adolescents with low levels of self-esteem can also be an indicator for antisocial, disruptive behavior (cruelty to people and animals, stealing, etc.) whereas high levels of self-esteem have stronger associations with peer-related physical and verbal aggression.

4. Promoting Self-Esteem in Adolescents: The Influence of Wellness Factors
Myers, J. E., Willse, J. T., & Villalba, J. A. (2011). Promoting Self-Esteem in Adolescents: The Influence of Wellness Factors. Journal Of Counseling & Development, 89(1), 28-36.

To assess the extent to which holistic wellness factors are predictive of self-esteem, the authors administered the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventories, School Form (Coopersmith, 2002), and the Five Factor Wellness Inventory (Myers & Sweeney, 2005a) to 225 adolescents ages 15 to 17 years. Wellness factors (Coping Self, Social Self, and Creative Self) explained a significant portion of the variance in components of self-esteem (General Self-Esteem, Home-ParentsSelf-Esteem, and School-Academic Self-Esteem). Implications for counselors and for further research are considered.

Summary: This [[#|study]] looks at the different factors that may yield a positive self esteem. The study looks at elements such as home life, parenting, school and how it effected adolescents. In the context of the question, it is important to understand what has caused a higher self esteem for children in the culture. By understanding that a raised level of self esteem is not founded on false sense of narcissism, naysayers will be able to better see that heightened self esteem is related to positive cultural aspects. Continuing, this research will help to show how to better promote self esteem as well.

5.The Associations of Self-Reported and Peer-Reported Relational Aggression with Narcissism and Self-Esteemamong Adolescents in a Residential Setting
Golmaryami, F. N., & Barry, C. T. (2010). The Associations of Self-Reported and Peer-Reported Relational Aggression with Narcissism and Self-Esteem among Adolescents in a Residential Setting. Journal Of Clinical Child And Adolescent Psychology,39(1), 128-133.

The present study investigated the relations of self-reported and peer-nominated relational aggression (RA) with self-esteem and narcissism among 43 at-risk 16- to 18-year-olds. Self-reported and peer-nominated RA were positively intercorrelated, and each was positively correlated with narcissism. An interaction between self-esteem and narcissism predicted peer-nominated RA, such that narcissism was related to peer-nominated RA particularly for individuals with highself-esteem. Maladaptive, but not adaptive, narcissism uniquely predicted peer-nominated RA. The implications and limitations of this study for research on adolescent self-perception and RA are discussed.

Summary: This study makes a good case for higher self esteem and narcissism being a bad thing for youth. The study looks at the between relational aggression and what peer perception. This study finds that peer perceived narcissism is a good indicator that a child will use RA methods in social circumstances. This meaning that they will use tactics such as rumors and isolation to establish dominance in a social setting. Continuing, the study shows results that higher self esteem is a good indicator of narcissism and as just mentioned, leads to higher presence of RA

6. Self-Esteem, Narcissism, and Aggression: Does Violence Result From Low Self-Esteem or From Threatened Egotism?
Bameister, R. F., Bushman, B. J., & Campell, W. K. (2000). Self-esteem, narcissism, and aggression: Does violence result from low self-esteem or from threatened egotism? . Current Directions in Psychological Science, 9(1), 26-29.

Abstract: A traditional view holds that low self-esteem causes aggression, but recent work has not confirmed this. Although aggressive people typically have high self-esteem, there are also many nonaggressive people with high self-esteem, and so newer constructs such as narcissism and unstable self-esteem are most effective at predicting aggression. The link between self-regard and aggression is best captured by the theory of threatened egotism, which depicts aggression as a means of defending a highly favorable view of self against someone who seeks to undermine or discredit that view.
Summary: This article makes a case for people with high and unstable self esteem as being more aggressive, whereas people with low self esteem do not display aggressive behavior. The researchers also recognize narcissism as a possible cause to violence, holding the opinion that when narcissistic people’s self perceptions are challenged, they become aggressive. They believe that threatened e egotism, rather than low self esteem, is the most explosive recipe for violence.

7. Self-Esteem and health-risk behaviors among Turkish late adolescents

Kavas, A.B. (2009). Self-esteem and health-risk behaviors among Turkish late adolescents. Adolescence, 44(173), 187-198.

The current study investigated (a) the relationship between self-esteem and health-risk behaviors and use of cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs, and (b) the gender differences in self-esteem and health-risk behaviors among a group of 243 lateadolescents (124 males, 119 females) using a cross-sectional survey design. The age range of the participants was 17 to 24 with a mean age of 20.43 (SD = 1.21).Participants completed the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and a self-report questionnaire including items about demographic characteristics and participation within a range of health-risk behaviors. Tbe findings of the study revealed thatself-esteem was negatively associated with alcohol and illicit drug use; however, these results did not suggest any significant relationship between self-esteem and smoking cigarettes. Comparisons between males and females did not indicate any gender differences on tbe selfesteem scale. On the other hand, significant gender differences were found on cigarette and drug use with males reporting more cigarette and drug use. Limitations of the study and possible implications for counseling practice are discussed.

Using a lifestyle questionnaire and a test of self-esteem the researchers found a link between low self-esteem and drug and alcohol use. The experimenters and users of drugs and alcohol had significantly lower self-esteem than non-users. It is concluded that low self-esteem leads to drug and/or alcohol use. There was no significant differences found with cigarettes. Although the study was conducted with Turkish youths, it is generalizable due to controlled conditions and credible data collection. The use of drugs, alcohol, and even cigarettes may be more prevalent in the US where such risky behaviors do not have such a religious or cultural stigma like in Turkey.

8. Self-Esteem Development From Age 14 to 30 Years: A Longitudinal Study

Erol, Y., & Orth, O. (2011). Self-esteem development from age 14 to 30 years: a longitudinal study. American Psychological Association. 101(3), 607–619.


We examined the development of self-esteem in adolescence and young adulthood. Data came from the Young Adults section of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, which includes 8 assessments across a 14-year period of a national probability sample of 7,100 individuals age 14 to 30 years. Latent growth curve analyses indicated that self-esteem increases during adolescence and continues to increase more slowly in young adulthood. Women and men did not differ in their self-esteem trajectories. In adolescence, Hispanics had lower self-esteem than Blacks and Whites, but the self-esteem of Hispanics subsequently increased more strongly, so that at age 30 Blacks and Hispanics had higher self-esteem than Whites. At each age, emotionally stable, extraverted, and conscientious individuals experienced higher self-esteem than emotionally unstable, introverted, and less conscientious individuals. Moreover, at each age, high sense of mastery, low risk taking, and better health predicted higher self-esteem. Finally, the results suggest that normative increase in sense of mastery accounts for a large proportion of the normative increase in self-esteem.


This [[#|study]] used a large pool of adolescents and explored various factors. This study would be a good study to defend that we want youth to have positive self-esteem and help promote self-esteem. The results showed positive outcomes for those with higher levels of self-esteem including: more emotionally stable, extraverted, lower risk taking, and better health. Findings also suggest that adolescents see more change in self-esteem than in young adulthood.

9. The Suicidal Process and Self-Esteem
Thompson, A. (2010). The suicidal process and self-esteem. Research Trends.31(6), 311–316.
Background: It has not been made clear whether self-esteem is associated with the severity of suicidal behavior. Aims: To test the association between responses to a self-esteem inventory and levels of suicidal [[#|behavior]] as conceptualized in the notion of the suicide process. Methods: Questions on the severity of suicidal [[#|behavior]] over the lifespan (death wishes, ideation, plans, and attempts), as well as a self-esteem inventory, were administered to 227 university undergraduates. Results: A negative relationship was found between the level of suicidality and self-esteem. As hypothesized, there were fewer cases in each succeeding level of seriousness of suicidal behavior. However, nearly all cases from any particular level were contained in the cohort of individuals who had displayed suicidal behavior at a less serious level. Conclusions: This suggests a possible progression through each of the stages of suicidal [[#|behavior]], with very few cases showing a level of suicidal behavior that was not associated with a previous, less serious, form. It was hypothesized that early entry into the suicidal process may be indicated by low self-esteem, thus, allowing for a more timely preventive intervention.

This [[#|study]] explores the idea of self-esteem being part of the suicide process. Does suicidality increase as self-esteem decreases? This association is linear but it does not prove causation, as we cannot say one thing causes another, but there is a correlation. To conduct this study, students were asked various questions pertaining to self-esteem and also any suicidal thoughts, rating each. This study would present as a good defense for why we may want adolescents to have high-self esteem as this may decrease the likelihood of suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

Peer relationships and internalizing problems in adolescents: mediating role of self-esteem
Bosacki, S., Dane, A., & Marini, Z. (2007). Peer Relationships and Internalizing Problems in Adolescents: Mediating Role of Self-Esteem. Emotional & Behavioural Difficulties, 12(4), 261-282.
Abstract: This study examined whether self-esteem mediated the association between peer relationships and internalizing problems (i.e., depression and social anxiety). A total of 7290 (3756 girls) adolescents (ages 13–18 years) completed self-report measures of peer relationships, including direct and indirect victimization, social isolation, friendship attachment (alienation and trust) and friendship quality (conflict and support), as well as self-esteem, social anxiety and depression. Regression analyses indicated that self-esteem partially mediated the relations between social isolation, friendship attachment (alienation) and both depression and social anxiety, whereas friendship attachment (trust) was a partial mediator for depression only. Overall, linkages between peer relationships and depression were more strongly mediated by self-esteem than those between peer relationships and social anxiety. Theoretical and applied implications of these findings are discussed.
Summary: This article looks at the impact that self-esteem may have on peer relationships and internalizing/externalizing problems in adolscents. The findings of the study show that self esteem can be a mediator for peer relationships and depression.

The relationship between female adolescent self-esteem, decision making, and contraceptive behavior.
Commendador, K. (2007). The relationship between female adolescent self-esteem, decision making, and contraceptive behavior. Journal Of The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 19(11), 614-623 doi:10.111/j.1745-7599.2007.00267.x
Purpose: To examine the relationship between female adolescent self-esteem, decision making, and contraceptive behavior in multiethnic, 14- to 17-year-olds, residing on the Big Island of Hawaii. Data sources: This was a descriptive cross-sectional survey design using a convenience sample of 98 female adolescents aged 14-17 who came to five different clinics on the Big Island of Hawaii for health care. Along with a brief demographic questionnaire, global self-esteem was measured by Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale, decision making was measured by the Flinders Adolescent Decision Making Questionnaire, and sexual activity and contraception use was measured by a nonnormed Sexual History and Contraceptive Use Questionnaire developed for this study. Descriptive statistics, logistic regression, and correlations were used to analyze associations and correlations between age, global self-esteem, decision self-esteem, decision coping (vigilant and maladaptive), and contraceptive use for sexually active female adolescents. Conclusions: No significant associations or correlations were found between age, global self-esteem, decision self-esteem, decision coping (vigilance), and the decision to use contraception in sexually active adolescent females. There was, however, significant negative correlation ( p < .05) between overall maladaptive decision making and contraceptive use in sexually active female adolescents. This suggests that sexually active adolescent females with higher maladaptive scores are less likely to use contraception. There was also significant association ( p < .05) between maladaptive decision making in contraceptive use and sexually active female adolescents. For every one unit increase on the maladaptive scale, the odds of using contraception were estimated to decrease by 7%. Implications for practice:Adolescence is a period of transition that involves biological, cognitive, psychological, and social changes. During the vulnerable transition period of adolescence, decisions relating to contraception may occur. Interventions focused on improving decision-making skills and stimulating thinking around not only sexual issues but also on relationship and communication in adolescent issues may facilitate more competent decision making. Understanding the relationship between female adolescent self-esteem, decision making, and contraceptive behavior has contributed to the knowledge base about female contraceptive behavior. Gaining further insight into these relationships will help healthcare professionals provide counseling and health care to female adolescents. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

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The study identifies how females are a vulnerable population regarding self-esteem. Because females have a hard time with self-esteem they ultimately have difficulty with decision making and contraception’s. There is a direct correlation between maladaptive decision making and decreased contraception’s use. Additionally, it goes on to discuss the implications of the lack of use of contraception’s.

Self-esteem reconsidered: Unstable self-esteem outperforms level of self-esteem as vulnerability marker for depression

Franck, E., & De Raedt, R. (2007). Self-esteem reconsidered: Unstable self-esteem outperforms level of self-esteem as vulnerability marker for depression. Behavior Research and Therapy, 45(7), 1531-1541.
Abstract: Previous studies have built up evidence that an unstable self-esteem is associated with vulnerability to depression and that it outperforms level of self-esteem as a predictor for symptoms of depression. However, most of these studies have used student samples exclusively to investigate the role of self-esteem instability in depression vulnerability. Our present study used samples of currently depressed inpatients, formerly depressed individuals, and never-depressed controls to investigate the relationship between self-esteem instability and depression. In addition, we examined the predictive validity of self-esteem instability in predicting future depressive symptoms. The results indicate that self-esteem instability is associated with depression and vulnerability to depression. Furthermore, self-esteem instability interacted with perceived stress variability and depressed mood variability in predicting future depressive symptomatology at six months follow-up. These results are in line with the diathesis–stress model and support the hypothesis that self-esteem instability might be more important than level of self-esteem in predicting vulnerability to depression.

Summary: In a [[#|study]] involving current [[#|depressed]] inpatients, formerly depressed individuals, and never-depressed controls, researchers investigated the relationship between self-esteem instability and depression. The research found that self-esteem instability, not low levels of self-esteem, is what differentiated depressed individuals from the never-depressed controls.

Trajectories of Depressive Symptoms and Self-Esteem in Latino Youths:Examining the Role of Gender and Perceived Discrimination
Zeiders, K. H., Umaña-Taylor, A. J., & Derlan, C. L. (2012). Trajectories of Depressive Symptoms and Self-Esteem in Latino Youths: Examining the Role of Gender and Perceived Discrimination.
The current longitudinal study examined changes in Latino adolescents’ (N _ 323, M age _ 15.31 years) self-esteem and depressive symptoms across the high school years. Differences in trajectories were examined by gender and perceived ethnic discrimination. Findings revealed that self-esteem increased across high school for both male adolescents and female adolescents. Depressive symptoms, however, showed differences by gender, with female adolescents reporting a decline in depressive symptoms across high school and male adolescents reporting no change. Perceived ethnic discrimination emerged as an important predictor of male adolescents’ self-esteem in early high school and predicted changes in self-esteem growth for male adolescents and female adolescents across the high school years. Perceived ethnic discrimination also emerged as a significant predictor of adolescents’ depressive symptoms in early high school but did not relate to changes in symptoms across time. Together, findings suggest that Latino adolescents experience positive changes in psychological adjustment across this developmental time. Experiences of ethnic discrimination, however, have the potential of placing adolescents at risk for mal adjustment over time. These findings inform our understanding of Latino youth development and point to the importance of early high school years in youths’ psychological functioning.
Latino adolescents undergo much discrimination during their high school years. The study showed, as they grew older, their self-esteem increased. Although they were discriminated against, they felt more comfortable and proud or their heritage. Latino youth develop following the psychosocial stages, although there are longitudinal changes during the adolescent process.

Relational Schemas and the Developing Self: Perceptions of Mother and of Self as Joint Predictors of Early Adolescents’ Self-Esteem

Ojanen, T., & Perry, D. G. (2007). Relational schemas and the developing self: Perceptions of mother and of self as joint predictors of early adolescents' self-esteem.
This 1-year longitudinal study examined early adolescents’ (N _ 278, age 11–13 years) perceptions of their mother’s behavior (affection, knowledge of child’s activities, and psychological control) and of how they react to their mother (trust in mother, defiance, and debilitation) as predictors of self-esteem among peers. Perceived maternal affection predicted self-esteem for girls; perceived psychological control forecast lower self-esteem for boys. Perceptions of self as untrusting, defiant, or debilitated led to lower self-esteem. Furthermore, perceived maternal behavior interacted with perceived self-reactions to predict self-esteem: Perceived debilitation led to reduced self-esteem only under high perceived maternal psychological control; perceived defiance predicted lower self-esteem only under low perceived maternal knowledge. The prediction of self-esteem is clearly enhanced when perceived self-reactions are included along with perceived maternal behavior as predictors. Combinations of perceived maternal behavior and perceived self-reactions—relational schemas—warrant increased attention as possible influences on the developing self.

Parenting and reciprocal reactions and self-reactions relate to the feelings of those involved. These two areas can form a positive schema and affect a person’s self-concept. Depending on the youth self-development will greatly depend on how the youth will distort his or her surroundings. Parents, especially mothers, play a vital role in this area.

Implications of Adolescents’ Acculturation Strategies for Personal and Collective Self-Esteem
Giang, M. T., & Wittig, M. A. (2006). Implications of adolescents' acculturation strategies for personal and collective self-esteem. Cultural Diversity And Ethnic Minority Psychology, 12(4), 725-739.
Berry, Trimble, and Olmedo’s (1986) acculturation model was used to investigate the relationship among adolescents’ acculturation strategies, personal self-esteem, and collective self-esteem. Using data from 427 high school students, factor analysis results distinguished Collective Self-esteem Scale constructs (Luhtanen & Crocker, 1992) from both ethnic identity and outgroup orientation subscales of the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure (Phinney, 1992). Subsequent results showed that: 1) both acculturation dimensions were correlated with personal and collective self-esteems, 2) integrationists shared similar levels of personal and collective self-esteems with assimilationists and/or separationists, and 3) marginalizationists generally had the lowest levels of personal and collective self-esteems. Implications are drawn for understanding acculturation among adolescents and for the utility of group-level measures of self-esteem.
In the ethnical diverse process, acculturation processes are crucial in terms of self-esteem. Depending on how the child is able to acculturate will depend on the effect it has on the child’s self-esteem. The child’s ability to adapt greatly relates to the child’s self-esteem given how comfortable the child feels relating his/her culture.

14. Student Entitlement.

Lippmann, S., Bulanda, R. E., & Wagenaar, T. C. (2009). Student entitlement. College Teaching, 57(4), 197-204.


While not representative of all students, those who demonstrate a sense of entitlement demand a great deal of instructors' time and energy. Our article places student entitlement in its social context, with specific attention to the prevalence of the consumer mentality, grade inflation, and the self-esteem of the student generation. We then outline several strategies for dealing with entitlement behavior. We suggest that greater clarity in standards and assessment, combined with specific requirements guiding teacher-student interactions and general efforts to resocialize students and faculty, will help to curb these behaviors. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Summary: This article explores college students' attitudes and feelings of entitlement. Researchers discuss how the current generation views their role in the college setting. The researchers also give possible reasons for this feeling of entitlement, including higher self esteem in the "me" generation.

15. The costly pursuit of self-esteem.

Crocker, J. & Park, L. E. (2004). The costly pursuit of self-esteem. Psychological Bulletin, 130 (2), 392-414.

Abstract: Researchers have recently questioned the benefits associated with having high self-esteem. The authors propose that the importance of self-esteem lies more in how people strive for it rather than whether it is high or low. They argue that in domains in which their self-worth is invested, people adopt the goal to validate their abilities and qualities, and hence their self-worth. When people have self-validation goals, they react to threats in these domains in ways that undermine learning; relatedness; autonomy and self-regulation; and over time, mental and physical health. The short-term emotional benefits of pursuing self-esteem are often outweighed by long-term costs. Previous research on self-esteem is reinterpreted in terms of self-esteem striving. Cultural roots of the pursuit of self-esteem are considered. Finally, the alternatives to pursuing self-esteem, and ways of avoiding its costs, are discussed.

Summary: The pursuit of self-esteem has become a central preoccupation in American culture. The desire to believe that we are worthy or valuable drives our behavior and shapes how we think about ourselves, people, and events in our lives. When people pursue self-esteem, their actions are guided by beliefs about what they need to do or be to have worth and value. They pursue self-esteem to help them manage their fears and worries. High self-esteem has been related to greater feelings of belongingness, competence, and optimism. However, no amount of success can guarantee our self-worth. Furthermore, when people seek to protect, maintain, and enhance their self-esteem, they lose the ability to act autonomously, because their self-esteem becomes contingent upon the ways others view them.

16. Threatened Egotism, Narcissism, Self-Esteem, and Direct and Displaced Aggression: Does Self-Love or Self-Hate Lead to Violence?

Bushman, B. J., & Baumeister, R. F. (1998). Threatened egotism, narcissism, self-esteem, and direct and displaced aggression: Does self-love or self-hate lead to violence? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75 (1), 219-229.

Abstract: It has been widely asserted that low self-esteem causes violence, but laboratory evidence is lacking, and some contrary observations have characterized aggressors as having favorable self-opinions. In 2 studies, both simple self-esteem and narcissism were measured, and then individual participants were given an opportunity to aggress against someone who had insulted them or praised them or against an innocent third person. Self-esteem proved irrelevant to aggression. The combination of narcissism and insult led to exceptionally high levels of aggression toward the source of the insult. Neither form of self-regard affected displaced aggression, which was low in general. These findings contradict the popular view that low self-esteem causes aggression and point instead toward threatened egotism as an important cause.

Summary: Some research has suggested that people with low self-esteem would be most likely to lash out in response to an ego threat because the unflattering evaluation reminds them of their personal flaws and faults or because their low self-esteem makes them unable to tolerate the prospect of losing any of it. Others might suggest that low self-esteem would cause an increase in aggression regardless of egothreat. Instead, it appears that people who are emotionally invested in grandiose self-views are the most aggressive, particularly in response to an esteem threat. In both studies, we found that narcissism combined with ego threat yielded the highest levels of aggression. The combination of narcissism and ego threat was the primary focus of our investigation. Thus, the most aggressive responding in both studies was found among narcissists who were attacking someone who had given them a bad evaluation. These people were significantly more aggressive than would be predicted simply by adding any broad (main) effects of narcissism and ego threat.

Low Self-Esteem Prospectively Predicts Depression in Adolescence and Young Adulthood
Orth, U., Robins, R. W., Roberts, B. W. (2008). Low self-esteem prospectively predicts depression in adolescence and young adulthood. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95(3), 695–708.

Abstract:Low self-esteem and depression are strongly correlated in cross-sectional studies, yet little is known about their prospective effects on each other. The vulnerability model ypothesizes that low self-esteem serves as a risk factor for depression, whereas the scar model hypothesizes that low self-esteem is an outcome, not a cause, of depression. To test these models, the authors used 2 large longitudinal data sets, each with 4 repeated assessments between the ages of 15 and 21 years and 18 and 21 years, respectively. Cross-lagged regression analyses indicated that low self-esteem predicted subsequent levels of depression, but depression did not predict subsequent levels of self-esteem. These findings held for both men and women and after controlling for content overlap between the self-esteem and depression scales. Thus, the results supported the vulnerability model, but not the scar model, of self-esteem and depression.[ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Summary: The article indicates that self-esteem is linked to depression but depression is not linked to self-esteem. The article used two longitudinal data sets that studied adolescents and young adults which produced the above-mentioned findings. This article can be used to support the second position that promoting self-esteem would decrease depression and produce long-term positive outcomes.

The Effects of a Self-Esteem Program Incorporated Into Health and Physical Education Classes.

Hsiang-Ru, L., Chang-Ming, L., Jiunn-Chern, J., Pi-Hsia, L., Wei-Lun, C., & Wan-Yu, W. (2009). The effects of a self-esteem program incorporated into health and physical education classes. Journal of Nursing Research (Taiwan Nurses Association), 17(4), 233-240.


Background: Self-esteem, a key construct of personality, influences thoughts, actions, and feelings. Adolescence is a critical stage to the development of self-esteem. Taiwan currently offers no self-esteem building curriculum in the public education system. Therefore, incorporating self-esteem-related teaching activities into the existing curriculum represents a feasible approach to enhance self-esteem in middle school students. Purpose: This study aimed to explore the effects on junior high school students' self-esteem of a self-esteem program incorporated into the general health and physical education curriculum. Methods: A quasi-experimental research design was used, and 184 seventh-grade students at two junior high schools in Taipei City were randomly selected and separated into two groups. The experimental group received one 32-week self-esteem program incorporated into their regular health and physical education curriculum, which was administered in three 45-minute-session classes each week. The control group received the regular health and physical education with no specially designed elements. During the week before the intervention began and the week after its conclusion, each participant's global and academic, physical, social, and family self-esteem was assessed. Data were analyzed using analysis of covariance. Results: For all participants, the experimental group was significantly superior to the control group in respect to physical self-esteem (p = .02). For girls, the experimental group was significantly superior to the control group in family self-esteem (p = .02). However, there was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of global self-esteem. Conclusions and Implications for Practice: This study provides preliminary evidence that incorporating self-esteem activities into the regular school health and physical education curriculum can result in minor effects in students' physical self-esteem and family self-esteem. Findings may provide teachers and school administrators with information to help them design programs to improve students' self-esteem. This study also reminds health professionals to focus on providing self-esteem-building programs when working with adolescent clients. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Summary: The researchers conducted a yearlong study, in Taiwan, where a self esteem program as part of health and physical education classes. Data was collected before during and after the school year via questionnaires for students and parents. The results showed some improvement in girls overall, but the results for boys showed little difference. The researchers put forth the possibility that this was because programming for health and physical education is different for boys and girls. The study showed that there are positive results in implementation of such programs.

Narcissism, Self-esteem, and Conduct Problems: Evidence from a British Community Sample of 7-11 Year Olds

Ha, C., Petersen, N. & Sharp., C. (2008). Narcissism, self-esteem, and conduct problems: Evidence from a British community sample of 7-11 year olds. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 17(7), p. 406-413.


The aim of the current report was to investigate the relationship between narcissism,self-esteem and conduct problems in a British community sample of pre-adolescent and youngadolescent children (n = 659; 7-11 year olds). We demonstrated that narcissism is associated with conduct problems, but no evidence for an interaction between low self-esteem and highnarcissism in the prediction of conduct problems was found. Whilst low self-esteem was associated with teacher-reported (but not parent-reported) conduct problems at the bivariate level of analyses, multi-variate analyses showed thatself-esteem yielded no significant effects, neither independently, nor in interaction with narcissism for either parent- or teacher reported conduct problems. However, self-esteem was predictive of self-reported conduct problems at both the bivariate and multivariate level of analysis, possibly due to shared method variance. The findings suggest an important role for narcissism for conduct problems in children as young as seven years old.


This article summarizes a study that sought to find the relationships between narcissism, self-esteem and conduct problems in pre-adolescent and young adolescents. It was able to conclude the following:
- Self-esteem is associated with conduct problems
- Higher IQs develop high self-esteem
- Boys tend to have higher scores for narcissism
- Correlation between low self-esteem and conduct problems
Despite these findings, the relationship between narcissism and conduct problems is not moderated by self-esteem.

A Brief Primer on Self-Esteem

Robins, R.W., Trzesniewski, K.H., & Donnellan, M.B. (2012). A brief primer on self-esteem. Prevention Researcher, 19(2), p. 3-7

No Abstract Provided

This article did a nice job of reiterating some of the recognized and unfamiliar findings that deal with self-esteem. It goes on to discuss the basic definition, methods of measuring, the changes that occur throughout a lifespan, the role of nature vs. nurture, the association of self-esteem with life outcomes and the effectiveness of intervention programs. The following conclusions were made about each of the six categories:
  1. 1. Self-esteem is the subjective evaluation of the self
  2. 2. It can be measured with a high degree of reliability and validity through the use of brief self-report scales.
  3. 3. There is a distinctive normative trajectory across the lifespan.
  4. 4. Differences between people’s self-esteem are a result of both biological and environmental factors.
  5. 5. High self-esteem accounts for improved mental health, physical health and economic prospects, while showing reduced aggression and criminal behaviors.
  6. 6. A well-designed intervention program, aimed at boosting self-esteem, has shown high success rates.

Deviant Peer Associations and Self Esteem

DuBois, D. L., & Silverthorn, N. (2004). Do Deviant Peer Associations Mediate the Contributions of Self-Esteem to Problem Behavior During Early Adolescence? A 2-Year Longitudinal Study. Journal Of Clinical Child And Adolescent Psychology, 33(2), 382-388.
We investigated deviant peer associations as a mediator of the influences of general and peer-oriented self-esteem on problem behavior using data from a 2-year longitudinal study of 350 young adolescents. Measures of problem behavior included substance use (alcohol use, smoking) and antisocial behavior (fighting, stealing). Using latent growth curve modeling and covariance structure analysis, an extension of a model proposed by DuBois et al. (2002) was evaluated for each type of problem behavior. Findings revealed that lower general self-esteem and greater peer orientation in self-esteem each predicted deviant associations with peers and that deviant peer associations, in turn, were associated with higher levels and rates of change in problem behavior. Deviant peer associations mediated the associations of general and peer-oriented self-esteem with levels and rates of change in problem behavior such that direct paths from self-esteem to problem behavior generally were nonsignificant.
Summary: Researchers look at the effects of deviant peer associations on adolescent antisocial behavior and substance use/abuse. Covariance Structure Analysis revealed a positive corellation between adolescent interaction with deviant peers, antisocial behavior, ans substance abuse.

Associations among Adolescent Risk Behaviours and Self-Esteem in Six Domains
Wild, L. G., Flisher, A. J., Bhana, A., & Lombard, C. (2004). Associations among Adolescent Risk Behaviours and Self-Esteem in Six Domains. Journal Of Child Psychology And Psychiatry, 45(8), 1454-1467.
This study investigated associations among adolescents' self-esteem in 6 domains (peers, school, family, sports/athletics, body image and global self-worth) and risk behaviours related to substance use, bullying, suicidality and sexuality. Method: A multistage stratified sampling strategy was used to select a representative sample of 939 English-, Afrikaans- and Xhosa-speaking [[#|students]] in Grades 8 and 11 at public high schools in Cape Town, South Africa. Participants [[#|completed]] the multidimensional Self-Esteem Questionnaire (SEQ; DuBois, Felner, Brand, Phillips, & Lease, 1996) and a self-report questionnaire containing items about demographic characteristics and participation in a range of risk behaviours. It included questions about their use of tobacco, alcohol, cannabis, solvents and other substances, bullying, suicidal ideation and attempts, and risky sexual behaviour. Data was analysed using a series of logistic regression models, with the estimation of model parameters being done through generalised estimation equations. Results: Scores on each self-esteem scale were significantly associated with at least one risk behaviour in male and female adolescents after controlling for the sampling strategy, grade and race. However, specific self-esteem domains were differentially related to particular risk behaviours. After taking the correlations between the self-esteem scales into account, low self-esteem in the family and school contexts and high self-esteem in the peer domain were significantly independently associated with multiple risk behaviours in adolescents of both sexes. Low body-image self-esteem and global self-worth were also uniquely associated with risk behaviours in girls, but not in boys. Conclusions: Overall, the findings suggest that interventions that aim to protect adolescents from engaging in risk behaviours by increasing their self-esteem are likely to be most effective and cost-efficient if they are aimed at the family and school domains.
Summary: Researchers looked at adolescents' self-esteem when involved in six domains: peers, school, family, body image, sports, and self-worth; and behavior related to substance use, bullying, sex, and suicide. Scores in each domain were significantly related to at least one risk taking behavior. Researchers suggest that interventions designed to increase self esteem are likely to be the most effective at protecting adolescents from risk taking behaviors.

Self Esteem on Aggressive Adolescents
Eftimie, S., & Ionescu, S. (2010). Self Esteem on Aggressive Adolescents. Petroleum - Gas University Of Ploiesti Bulletin, Educational Sciences Series, 62(2), 146-153.

Abstract: Our paper aims to analyze, continuing older concerns on adolescence, in a qualitative research, a possible relationship between self-esteem and aggressiveness. Based on descriptions of concepts and specific for self-esteem and aggressiveness in adolescence, we examined some case studies on adolescents following variables like: level of hostility (and its indicators: negativism, resentment, attack, indirect hostility, suspicion, irritability, verbal hostility), self image and characteristics of aggressive behaviour identified by adolescents' teachers. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Summary: This study aimed to determine if there is a relationship between aggression and self-esteem. The findings reveal that adolescents with low self-esteem are considered aggressive adolescents, but some adolescents did score high on hostility, yet they appeared to have high self-esteem.

Two Dimensions of Self-Esteem: Reciprocal Effects of Positive Self-Worth and Self-Deprecation on Adolescent Problems

Owens, T. J. (1994). Two Dimensions of Self-Esteem: Reciprocal Effects of Positive Self-Worth and Self-Deprecation on Adolescent Problems. American Sociological Review, 59(3), 391-407.


The presumed relationship between adolescent's self-esteem and the occurrence of social problems is a recurring theme in academic and public discourse. Evidence for this relationship is limited by an overreliance on global measures of self-esteem that combine positive and negative self-evaluations in a single measure. My study uses this prior research on the relationship of global measures of self-esteem to adolescent social problems as a comparative reference point for an analysis of the link between negative and positive self-worth and youth problems. Using nonrecursive linear structural equation models and data from the Youth in Transition study, I compare the reciprocal interrelations of self-deprecation (negative self-evaluations), positive self-worth (positive self-evaluations), and global self-esteem (which includes both positive and negative evaluations) on high school grades, depression, and delinquency. I find that when self-deprecation and positive self-worth measures are employed, nuances are revealed that were previously overlooked in studies relying exclusively on global self-esteem. For example, I find a powerful reciprocal causal relationship between self-deprecation and depression and an effect of self-deprecation and positive self-worth on grades in school. These findings encourage theoretical developments of a bidimensional construct to measure self-esteem that includes, in particular, self-deprecation.

This study examines negative and positive self-esteem and the relationships they have to social problems, such as school grades. It found a strong relationship between positive self-worth and better grades, while negative self-worth had a less significant effect. Depression was also shown to have significant effect on self-deprecation.


Alcohol Abuse and Depression in Children and Adolescents.

Ping, W., Hoven, C. W., Okezie, N., Fuller, C. J., & Cohen, P. (2007). Alcohol Abuse and Depression in Children and Adolescents. Journal Of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse, 17(2), 51-69.


This study examines gender differences in patterns of the co-occurrence of alcohol abuse and depression in youth. Data were from 1,458 youth (ages 9-17) randomly selected from the community. The child and one parent/guardian in each household were interviewed regarding childhood psychopathology, alcohol and drug use, and a wide array of risk factors. The findings showed that: (1) alcohol abuse/dependence was associated with elevated rates of depression in youth; (2) comorbidity between depression and alcohol use/abuse could be partially explained by shared risk factors; and (3) gender differences were found in the patterns of comorbidity. After controlling for other factors, the relationship between depression and alcohol abuse/dependence was no longer significant for girls, but it remained significant for boys. Among girls, however, cigarette smoking emerged as significantly related to depression. In the prevention of substance abuse and the treatment of depressive and addictive disorders, comorbidity of alcohol abuse and depression should be taken into account. Other clinical and policy implications are also discussed. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


This study examines the relationship between depression and alcohol abuse in adolescents. It showed a significant relationship between alcohol dependence and depression in both boys and girls. Even when other factors were controlled, the relationship was still significant. It was also found that girls had a higher association between depression and smoking cigarettes than boys did.

The Dynamics of Self-Esteem: A Growth-Curve Analysis
Baldwin, S. A., & Hoffman, J. P. (2002). The dynamics of self-esteem: A growth-curve analysis. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 21(2), Retrieved from Dynamics of Self Esteem.pdf

Research on adolescent self-esteem has been inconsistent regarding development patterns and
processes, with some scholars concluding that self-esteem is a static construct and others concluding that it is a dynamic construct. A potential source of this inconsistency is the lack of attention to intraindividual changes in self-esteem across adolescence and to gender-specific developmental patterns. Building on previous research, we use a growth-curve analysis to examine intraindividual self-esteem changes from early adolescence to early adulthood. Using 7 years of sequential data from the Family Health Study (762 subjects ages 11-16 in Year 1), we estimated a hierarchical growth curve model that emphasized the effects of age, life events, gender, and family cohesion on selfesteem. The results indicated that age had a curvilinear relationship with self-esteem suggesting that during adolescence self-esteem is a dynamic rather than a static construct. Furthermore, changes in self-esteem during adolescence were influenced by shifts in life events and family cohesion. These processes were different for males and females, particularly during early adolescence.

In this study, the dynamics of self-esteem during the adolescent years were examined. Building on the adolescent development literature and James’s and Rosenberg’s conceptualizations of self-esteem, we hypothesized that self-esteem is a dynamic construct. We further hypothesized that stressful life events, gender, and family relations all contribute to the dynamics of self-esteem during adolescence. Specifically, it was hypothesized that adolescents who experience a high number of stressful life events over time report lower self-esteem. Moreover, while males report higher self-esteem on average than females, this difference was expected to vary across adolescence, becoming most dramatic during the high school years (Harter, 1993). Based on sex-based socialization research (Dweck et al., 1978), we also suspected that self-esteem among females is more sensitive to stressful life events than it is among males. Finally, it was hypothesized that family relationships have a positive impact on self-esteem change across adolescence, yet this impact is attenuated by stressful life events. Given the developmental nature of both stressful life events and family relationships, it is likely that changes in these variables predict developmental shifts in self-esteem intraindividually; that is, they influence self-esteem over time within individual respondents. This study thus provides a more accurate characterization of self-esteem among adolescents.

DuBois, D.L., Lockerd, E.M., Reach, K., & Parra, G.R. (2003). Effective strategies for esteem-enhancement: what do young adolescents have to say? Journal of Early Adolescence, 23, 405-434.

doi: 10.1177/0272431603258346
Focus groups were conducted with young adolescents (N=61) to obtain a consumer perspective on esteem-enhancement strategies for their age group. Overall, the input obtained supports a comprehensive, psychosocial/developmental approach. To address the views and preferences expressed by young adolescents, program content should (a) provide esteem-enhancing experiences in multiple domains of early adolescent development, (b) reduce reliance on “unhealthy” sources of self-esteem, and (c) be sensitive to diversity in participant backgrounds (e.g., race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status). Program designs should (a) be inclusive (i.e., include all youth) and involve multiple important persons in young adolescents’ lives; (b) emphasize an experiential, individualized
approach; (c) allow for participation over extended periods of time; and (d) incorporate strong linkages to the surrounding community. Based on current findings and related research, the need for esteem-enhancement strategies that are environmentally oriented and integrated within broader youth development initiatives is emphasized.

Kort-Butler, L. A., & Hagewen, K. J. (2011). School-based extracurricular activity involvement and adolescent self-esteem: a growth-curve analysis. Journal Of Youth And Adolescence, 40(5), 568-581.

Abstract: Research on adolescent self-esteem indicates that adolescence is a time in which individuals experience important changes in their physical, cognitive, and social identities. Prior research suggests that there is a positive relationship between an adolescent's participation in structured extracurricular activities and well-being in a variety of domains, and some research indicates that these relationships may be dependent on the type of activities in which adolescents participate. Building on previous research, a growth-curve analysis was utilized to examine self-esteem trajectories from adolescence (age 14) to young adulthood (age 26). Using 3 waves of data from National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (n = 5,399; 47.8% male), the analysis estimated a hierarchical growth-curve model emphasizing the effects of age and type of school-based extracurricular activity portfolio, including sports and school clubs, on self-esteem. The results indicated that age had a linear relationship with self-esteem over time. Changes in both the initial level of self-esteem and the growth of self-esteem over time were significantly influenced by the type of extracurricular activity portfolio. The findings were consistent across race and sex. The results support the utility of examining the longitudinal impact of portfolio type on well-being outcomes.

Summary: The research shows that involvement in extracurricular activities (sports, clubs or a combination) does contribute to self-esteem. Self –esteem is something that grows during adolescence. Regardless of their extracurricular activities during adolescence, people in adulthood tend to have comparable self-esteem.

Low Self-Esteem during Adolescence Predicts Poor Health, Criminal Behavior, and Limited Economic Prospects during Adulthood

Trzesniewski, K. H., Donnellan, M., Moffitt, T. E., Robins, R. W., Poulton, R., & Caspi, A. (2006). Low Self-Esteem during Adolescence Predicts Poor Health, Criminal Behavior, and Limited Economic Prospects during Adulthood. Developmental Psychology, 42(2), 381-390.

Abstract: Using prospective data from the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study birth cohort, the authors found that adolescents with low self-esteem had poorer mental and physical health, worse economic prospects, and higher levels of criminal behavior during adulthood, compared with adolescents with high self-esteem. The long-term consequences of self-esteem could not be explained by adolescent depression, gender, or socioeconomic status. Moreover, the findings held when the outcome variables were assessed using objective measures and informant reports; therefore, the findings cannot be explained by shared method variance in self-report data. The findings suggest that low self-esteem during adolescence predicts negative real-world consequences during adulthood. (Derived from PsychINFO database, Abstract written by the author).

Summary: This study tested the hypothesis that low self-esteem creates a negative real-world impact. Using data collection from a birth cohort, researchers found adolescents with low self-esteem held an increased risk for poor mental and physical health into their adulthood. Low self-esteem also contributed to a weakened economic prospect and increase in crime convictions compared to adolescents with high self-esteem.

Question 3
Locus of Control as a Contributing Factor in the Relation Between Self-Perception and Adolescent Aggression

Wallace, M. T., Barry, C. T., Zeigler-Hill, V. & Green, B. A. (2012). Locus of control as a contributing factor in the relation between self‐perception and adolescent aggression. Aggressive Behavior. 38, 213-221.

Researchers continue to debate the role of self-esteem in aggression, but research has shown a consistent association between narcissism and aggression in adults and adolescents [e.g., Barry et al., 2007; Bushman and Baumeister, 1998; Stucke, 2003]. The primary aim of the current study was to examine whether locus of control (LOC) moderated the relation between self-perception variables (i.e., self-esteem and narcissism) and aggression in adolescents. Participants were 174 youth (145 males, 26 females) between the ages of 16 and 19 who were enrolled in a voluntary residential program for youth who have dropped out of school. The results showed that LOC moderated the association between self-esteem and aggression such that low self-esteem was associated with higher levels of aggression for individuals with an external LOC. Contrary to expectations, LOC failed to moderate the narcissism–aggression relation. The implications of this study for understanding how self-perception is related to adolescent aggression are discussed.

Two functions of aggression are reactive (impulsive and unplanned) or proactive( planned in attempt to gain something). Those with high levels of narcissism in combination with an internal locus of control may be more likely to act aggressively. This is because they wish to continue to be viewed as dominant. However, aggression and low self-esteem may be connected if an adolescent shows an external locus of control. Results, like other studies, continue to show that self-esteem is negatively correlated with aggression. However, other studies have shown inflated self-esteem to be correlated with aggression. Given the differences in findings, this remains to be multi-faceted. Narcissism was found to be associated with high levels of aggression (both proactive and reactive) for males but not females. Locus of control, in this study, was found not to be a significant factor.

Trumping Shame by Blasts of Noise: Narcissism, Self-Esteem, Shame, and Aggression in Young Adolescents

Thomaes, S., Bushman, B. J., Stegge, H., Olthof, T. (2008). Trumping shame by blasts of noise: Narcissism, self-esteem, shame, and aggression in young adolescents. Child Development. 79(6), 1792-1801.

This experiment tested how self-views influence shame-induced aggression. One hundred and sixty-three young adolescents (M = 12.2 years) completed measures of narcissism and self-esteem. They lost to an ostensible opponent on a competitive task. In the shame condition, they were told that their opponent was bad, and they saw their own name at the bottom of a ranking list. In the control condition, they were told nothing about their opponent and did not see a ranking list. Next, participants could blast their opponent with noise (aggression measure). As expected, narcissistic children were more aggressive than others, but only after they had been shamed. Low self-esteem did not lead to aggression. In fact, narcissism in combination with high self-esteem led to exceptionally high aggression.

Narcissists consider social conditions in terms of their reflection of themselves, and use self-regulatory strategies to protect their self-esteem. “Overt narcissists, who have high self-esteem, have been described as extraverts marked by a dominant and aggressive interpersonal
orientation. Covert narcissists, who have much lower self-esteem (i.e., their self-absorption co-occurs with feelings of self-doubt and insufficiency), have been described as ‘‘worriers’’ marked by an anxious and internalizing interpersonal orientation. In this study, “covert” narcissists did not show aggression. Shame is a significant factor when considering the link between self-esteem and aggression; particularly, narcissism is a predictor of such aggression in the circumstance of shame.

Narcissistic Fragility: Rethinking Its Links to Explicit and Implicit Self-esteem

Gregg, A. P., & Sedikides, C. (2010). Narcissistic fragility: Rethinking its links to explicit and implicit self-esteem. Self and Identity, 9, 142–161.

Abstract: Several studies have tested whether narcissism is a compensatory reaction to

underlying ego fragility by examining narcissism’s empirical links to both explicit

self-esteem (ESE) and implicit self-esteem (ISE), under the general expectation

that narcissists should exhibit an abundance of ESE but a dearth of ISE. However,

not only have these studies yielded conflicting findings, they have also proceeded

from divergent theoretical assumptions that shape the interpretation of their

findings. Here, we draw out the implications of three prominent models of the

interrelationships between narcissism, ESE, and ISE, before reassessing those

interrelationships in a large multi-session study. Two (out of three) indices of ISE

covaried negatively with narcissism, consistent with the view that ISE is a global

marker for ego fragility. We contextualize our findings in terms of recent research

and propose a new mechanism linking ISE to ego fragility. (Abstract from author)

Summary: This article discusses that those who have narcissism have ego delicacy which can be interpreted as low self-esteem or self-doubt. This could be used to refute the argument that adolescents have high self-esteem and feel a sense of entitlement since narcissists actually struggle with self-esteem.

Self-esteem and Violence: Testing Links Between Adolescent Self-esteem and Later Hostility and Violent Behavior
Boden, J. M., Fergusson, D. M., & Horwood, L. J. (2007). Self-esteem and violence: Testing links between adolescent self-esteem and later hostility and violent behavior. Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology, 42, 881-891.
Abstract: This study investigated the relationship between self-esteem in adolescence and later violent offending and hostility via self- and other-report, examining data from a birth cohort of over 1,000 New Zealand young adults studied to age 25. Lower levels of self-esteem at age 15 were related to greater risks of violent offending and higher levels of hostility at ages 18, 21, and 25. Adjustment for potentially confounding factors reduced the strength of the associations between self-esteem at age 15 and both self- and other-reported violent offending and other-reported hostility at ages 18, 21, and 25 to statistically non-significant levels. The association between self-esteem at age 15 and later self-reported hostility remained statistically significant, but was small in magnitude. A similar pattern of results were obtained using self-esteem at age 10 as the predictor variable in place of the age 15 measure. In addition, a persistent association was found between unstable high self-esteem and self-reported violent offending. The results suggest that self-esteem level plays a limited role in the understanding of violent behavior. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Summary: The research article aimed to examine links between late childhood and early adolescence and later violent behavior and hostility through a longitudinal study. Data for self-esteem, violent offending, hostility, family socio-economic background, family functioning, and individual characteristics were gathered using self-report and other-report measures. The researchers found a significant relationship between adolescent self-esteem and later self-reported hostility; however a significant relationship was not found between adolescent self-esteem and both self-reported and other-reported violent offending, and other-reported hostility.

The association between stress and emotional states in adolescents: The role of gender and self-esteem

Unni K., M., Inger E.O., M., Geir A., E., & Don G., B. (n.d). The association between stress and emotional states in adolescents: The role of gender and self-esteem. Personality And Individual Differences, 49430-435. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2010.04.012

Abstract: This cross-sectional study investigated gender differences on domains of stress, self-esteem and emo- tional states (depression and anxiety) as well as the association between stress, self-esteem and emo- tional states using a sample of Norwegian adolescents (N = 1508). The results showed that girls had significantly higher mean scores on all stress domains and on emotional states compared with boys. Conversely, boys scored significantly higher on self-esteem. The hierarchical multiple regression analysis showed a significant association between increasing stress related to peer pressure, home life, school performance and adult responsibility and higher levels of emotional states. Moreover, the associations between stress and emotional states were not moderated by gender. A strong, inverse association was found between self-esteem and emotional states. A weak moderation effect of self-esteem was found on the association between stress related to peer pressure, romantic relationships, school performance and emotional states. The identification of the potential protective role of self-esteem in relation to ado- lescents’ emotional outcomes represents an important step toward developing preventive interventions for children and adolescents.

Summary: This article describes boys having an overall higher self esteem at the beginning, but mentioning that self- esteem actually relates to each child's own unique stress' in life. The stress' can includes peer pressure, home life, school performance, adult responsibility, and levels of emotional states. This shows that children should work on their self esteem because gender doesn't matter. Yes, you may have some children who have a high self esteem because they are not pressured, have a great home life, do great at school, and so much others, but I believe there is a lot more that can be done to help the majority of adolescents who do not have all these things.

Adolescent Perceptions of Parental Behaviors, Adolescent Self-Esteem, and Adolescent Depressed Mood.

Plunkett, S., Henry, C., Robinson, L., Behnke, A., & Falcon, P. (2007). Adolescent Perceptions of Parental Behaviors, Adolescent Self-Esteem, and Adolescent Depressed Mood. Journal Of Child & Family Studies, 16(6), 760-772. doi:10.1007/s10826-006-9123-0

Abstract: Using symbolic interaction, we developed a research model that proposed adolescent perceptions of parental support and psychological control would be related to adolescent depressed mood directly and indirectly through self-esteem. We tested the model using self-report questionnaire data from 161 adolescents living with both of their biological parents. To examine possible gender of adolescent differences, we tested two multigroup models separately for adolescents’ perceptions of mothers’ and fathers’ parental behaviors. Both the fathers’ and mothers’ models yielded (a) direct paths from self-esteem to depressed mood (for boys and girls), psychological control to depressed mood (for boys) and (b) an indirect path from support to self-esteem to depressed mood (for girls and boys) and an indirect path from psychological control to self-esteem to depressed mood (for girls). In addition, in the fathers’ model a significant direct path was found between fathers’ support and depressed mood (for girls). [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Summary: This article analyzes adolescent self esteem through the adolescents perception of parental support and psychological control. As it is shown through the number of articles, a number of factors relate to the self- esteem of adolescents. A program needs to be implemented to help all the adolescents because we can never understand what is in each part of their life. Even though a few may have high self esteem that could be considered narcissism, there is probably a larger number that is defined as having low self esteem.

III. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES (Video clips, podcasts, lectures, etc.)

1. Assessing Self-Esteem.

Heatherton, T. F. & Wyland, C.L. (2003) Assessing self-esteem. In S. J. Lopez & C. R. Synder (Eds.) Positive Psychology Assessment. Washington DC: American Psychological Association.

No abstract provided

Summary: It is generally believed that there are many benefits to having a positive view of the self. Those who have high self-esteem are presumed to be psychologically happy and healthy, whereas those with low self-esteem are believed to be psychologically distressed and perhaps even depressed. Having high self-esteem apparently provides benefits to those who possess it: They feel good about themselves, are able to cope effectively with challenges and negative feedback, and they live in a social world in which they believe that people value and respect them. Although there are negative consequences associated with having extremely high self-esteem, most people with high self-esteem appear to lead happy and productive lives.
The chapter also highlights issues related to understanding the construct of self-esteem, sources of one’s self-esteem, gender differences, and the stability of self-esteem.

2. 20 Tips to Promote Self Esteem

A dynamic relationship exists between self-esteem and skill development. As a child improves in self-esteem, his academic competence increases. And as that competence increases, his self-esteem improves. The caring and concerned caregiver must come to realize that positive self-esteem is both a prerequisite and a consequence of academic success. Here are 20 tips to help foster a child's self-esteem…

20 Tips to Promote Self Esteem

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