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

392 Citations (Scopus)


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
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'Age and gender differences in self-esteem: A cross-cultural window'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this