Self‐esteem development and life events: A review and integrative process framework

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Abstract

Self-esteem is a pervasive individual characteristic with major consequences for people's lives. Recent research demonstrated normative change and substantial individual differences in change across the lifespan, which triggered great interest in the sources of self-esteem development. This article provides an overview of the present state of the field of self-esteem development. First, to gain a comprehensive picture, I reviewed findings of different change indicators: mean-level change, individual differences in change, rank-order stability, and state (fluctuations). Second, I reviewed theory and empirical evidence on self-esteem change in response to normative and non-normative life events in the domains school/work and social relationships. Third, I reviewed theory and empirical evidence on situational processes and psychological mechanisms of self-esteem development. I integrated theoretical approaches from lifespan, personality developmental, and social-personality psychology in a process-oriented framework of self-esteem development in response to life events. Finally, I discussed directions for theoretical and methodological advancements.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12709
Number of pages20
JournalSocial and Personality Psychology Compass
Volume16
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • ADULTHOOD
  • EARLY ADOLESCENCE
  • METAANALYSIS
  • PERSONALITY-DEVELOPMENT
  • PERSPECTIVES
  • SCHOOL
  • SOCIAL INVESTMENT
  • STABILITY
  • TRAJECTORIES
  • TRANSITION
  • change processes
  • life events
  • lifespan development
  • personality
  • self-esteem

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