Using prospective data from the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study birth cohort, the authors found that adolescents with low self-esteem had poorer mental and physical health, worse economic prospects, and higher levels of criminal behavior during adulthood, compared with adolescents with high self-esteem. The long-term consequences of self-esteem could not be explained by adolescent depression, gender, or socioeconomic status. Moreover, the findings held when the outcome variables were assessed using objective measures and informant reports; therefore, the findings cannot be explained by shared method variance in self-report data. The findings suggest that low self-esteem during adolescence predicts negative real-world consequences during adulthood.
Copyright (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved.