Development of self-esteem from age 4 to 94 years: A meta-analysis of longitudinal studies

Orth, Ulrich; Erol, Ruth Yasemin; Luciano, Eva C. (2018). Development of self-esteem from age 4 to 94 years: A meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. Psychological bulletin, 144(10), pp. 1045-1080. American Psychological Association 10.1037/bul0000161

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To investigate the normative trajectory of self-esteem across the life span, this meta-analysis synthesizes the available longitudinal data on mean-level change in self-esteem. The analyses were based on 331 independent samples, including data from 164,868 participants. As effect size measure, we used the standardized mean change d per year. The mean age associated with the effect sizes ranged from 4 to 94 years. Results showed that average levels of self-esteem increased from age 4 to 11 years (cumulative d = 0.34; cumulative ds are relative to age 4), remained stable from age 11 to 15, increased strongly until age 30 (cumulative d = 1.05), continued to increase until age 60 (cumulative d = 1.30), peaked at age 60 and remained constant until age 70, declined slightly until age 90 (cumulative d = 1.15), and declined more strongly until age 94 (cumulative d = 0.76). Moderator analyses were conducted for the full set of samples and for the subset of samples between ages 10 to 20 years. Although the measure of self-esteem accounted for differences in effect sizes, the moderator analyses suggested that the pattern of mean-level change held across gender, country, ethnicity, sample type, and birth cohort. The meta-analytic findings clarify previously unresolved issues about the nature and magnitude of self-esteem change in specific developmental periods (i.e., childhood, adolescence, and old age) and draw a much more precise picture of the life span trajectory of self-esteem.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Developmental Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Orth, Ulrich; Erol, Ruth Yasemin and Luciano, Eva Christina

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology

ISSN:

0033-2909

Publisher:

American Psychological Association

Language:

English

Submitter:

Ulrich Orth

Date Deposited:

25 Sep 2018 14:50

Last Modified:

06 Dec 2018 10:29

Publisher DOI:

10.1037/bul0000161

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.120112

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/120112

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