How do you feel? Self-esteem predicts affect, stress, social interaction, and symptom severity during daily life in patients with chronic illness

J Health Psychol. 2008 Oct;13(7):884-94. doi: 10.1177/1359105308095062.


Self-esteem has been demonstrated to predict health and well-being in a number of samples and domains using retrospective reports, but little is known about the effect of self-esteem in daily life. A community sample with asthma (n = 97) or rheumatoid arthritis (n = 31) completed a self-esteem measure and collected Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) data 5x/day for one week using a palmtop computer. Low self-esteem predicted more negative affect, less positive affect, greater stress severity, and greater symptom severity in daily life. Naturalistic exploration of mechanisms relating self-esteem to physiological and/or psychological components in illness may clarify causal relationships and inform theoretical models of self-care, well-being, and disease management.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / psychology*
  • Asthma / psychology*
  • Computers, Handheld
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Illness Behavior*
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Self Concept*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Young Adult