Stability and change in domain-specific self-esteem and global self-esteem

Faculty/Professorship: Personality Psychology and Psychological Assessment  
Author(s): Rentzsch, Katrin ; Schröder-Abé, Michela
Title of the Journal: European Journal of Personality
ISSN: 0890-2070
Publisher Information: Chichester [u.a.] : Wiley-Blackwell
Year of publication: 2018
Volume: 32
Issue: 4
Pages: 353-370
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.1002/per.2167
A notable uptick of interest in the stability of self‐esteem has been observed over the past few years. Most researchers, however, have focused on unidimensional rather than multidimensional conceptualizations of self‐esteem. The paucity of empirical research is surprising given conflicting theoretical perspectives on the stability of self‐esteem. The goal of the present study was to thoroughly disentangle different conceptualizations of self‐esteem and test opposing classical theories on (i) the stability and (ii) the direction of mutual influence of these different forms of self‐esteem. We analysed two‐year longitudinal data from participants (N = 644 at T1, N = 241 at T2) with an average age of 47.0 years (SD = 12.4). Analyses using a latent variable approach revealed that the domains of self‐esteem were relatively stable in terms of rank order and mean levels. In fact, the size of the stability coefficients was comparable to that of other trait measures that have been reported in the literature and paralleled the stability observed for global self‐esteem. Results did not provide support for either top‐down or bottom‐up effects between domain‐specific and global self‐esteem. These findings have important theoretical and practical implications regarding the stability and development of self‐esteem in adulthood and advance the understanding of self‐esteem in personality theory.
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Type: Article
Year of publication: 20. August 2018