Age and gender differences in self-esteem: A cross-cultural window

Wiebke Bleidorn, R.C. Arslan, J.J.A. Denissen, P.J. Rentfrow, J.E. Gebauer, J. Potter, S.D. Gosling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Research and theorizing on gender and age differences in self-esteem have played a prominent role in psychology over the past 20 years. However, virtually all empirical research has been undertaken in the United States or other Western industrialized countries, providing a narrow empirical base from which to draw conclusions and develop theory. To broaden the empirical base, the present research uses a large Internet sample (N = 985,937) to provide the first large-scale systematic cross-cultural examination of gender and age differences in self-esteem. Across 48 nations, and consistent with previous research, we found age-related increases in self-esteem from late adolescence to middle adulthood and significant gender gaps, with males consistently reporting higher self-esteem than females. Despite these broad cross-cultural similarities, the cultures differed significantly in the magnitude of gender, age, and Gender × Age effects on self-esteem. These differences were associated with cultural differences in socioeconomic, sociodemographic, gender-equality, and cultural value indicators. Discussion focuses on the theoretical implications of cross-cultural research on self-esteem.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-410
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Volume111
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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Bleidorn, W., Arslan, R. C., Denissen, J. J. A., Rentfrow, P. J., Gebauer, J. E., Potter, J., & Gosling, S. D. (2016). Age and gender differences in self-esteem: A cross-cultural window. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 111(3), 396-410. https://doi.org/10.1037/pspp0000078