Western Kentucky University

WKU Health Services : Health Services News

Self-Esteem Levels Vary by Age Race Study Finds

Although Hispanics tend to have lower self-esteem than blacks or whites in the teen years, by age 30 their self-esteem has increased to the point that they have higher self-esteem than whites, a new study suggests. And in both adolescence and young adulthood, blacks have higher self-esteem than whites. By age 30, whites trailed both Hispanics and blacks in terms of self-esteem, according to the report published online July 4 in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Researchers at the University of Basel in Switzerland made this finding after analyzing U.S. survey data of more than 7,000 young adults from 1994 to 2008. The participants ranged in age from 14 to 30 years. Over the course of 14 years, the study authors examined how five personality traits (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism) affected the youth's self-esteem.

In addition, the researchers also looked at the participants' sense of life mastery, risk-taking tendencies, gender, ethnicity, health and income.

"We tested for factors that we thought would have an impact on how self-esteem develops," the study's lead author, Ruth Yasemin Erol, said in news release from the American Psychological Association. "Understanding the trajectory of self-esteem is important to pinpointing and timing interventions that could improve people's self-esteem."

The researchers found that conscientiousness, emotional stability, a feeling of mastery and being extraverted are key to predicting the direction a person's self-esteem will take as they grow up, and that income did not affect this course. These findings, they pointed out, could assist health professionals in targeting treatments.

And, contrary to popular belief, there are no significant differences in the way men and women feel about themselves during those periods of development, the investigators found.

"The converging evidence on gender similarity in self-esteem is important because false beliefs in gender differences in self-esteem may carry substantial costs," said Erol. "For example, parents, teachers and counselors may overlook self-esteem problems in male adolescents and young men because of the widespread belief that men have higher self-esteem than women have."

http://health.msn.com/health-topics/aging/self-esteem-levels-vary-by-age-race-study-finds

Categories
Latest Health News
Questions and Answers on Ebola

The current Ebola outbreak is centered on three countries in West Africa: Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, although there is the potential for further spread to neighboring African countries.

Ebola Virus Is Outpacing Efforts to Control It, World Health Body Warns

In an ominous warning as fatalities mounted in West Africa from the worst known outbreak of the Ebola virus, the head of the World Health Organization said on Friday that the disease was moving faster than efforts to curb it.

Bingeing On Bad News Can Fuel Daily Stress

If you're feeling stressed these days, the news media may be partly to blame. At least that's the suggestion of conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.

Featured Articles
5 Ways to Drop Your Soda Habit

How does one ditch a dependence on soda? Here are five tips for kicking your soda habit for good.

Real or fake sugar: Does it matter?

Are artificial sweeteners used in soft drinks and foods safe? Will they make us fat? How much is too much? Science doesn't have all the answers yet, but researchers have some clues.

List of 'Salty Six' Foods May Surprise You
 Last Modified 7/22/13