The long-term stability of self-esteem: Its time-dependent decay and nonzero asymptote

Kuster, Farah; Orth, Ulrich (2013). The long-term stability of self-esteem: Its time-dependent decay and nonzero asymptote. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39(5), pp. 677-690. Sage 10.1177/0146167213480189

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How stable are individual differences in self-esteem? We examined the time-dependent decay of rank-order stability of self-esteem and tested whether stability asymptotically approaches zero or a nonzero value across long test–retest intervals. Analyses were based on 6 assessments across a 29-year period of a sample of 3,180 individuals aged 14 to 102 years. The results indicated that, as test–retest intervals increased, stability exponentially decayed and asymptotically approached a nonzero value (estimated as .43). The exponential decay function explained a large proportion of variance in observed stability coefficients, provided a better fit than alternative functions, and held across gender and for all age groups from adolescence to old age. Moreover, structural equation modeling of the individual-level data suggested that a perfectly stable trait component underlies stability of self-esteem. The findings suggest that the stability of self-esteem is relatively large, even across very long periods, and that self-esteem is a trait-like characteristic.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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

UniBE Contributor:

Orth, Ulrich

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology

ISSN:

0146-1672

Publisher:

Sage

Language:

English

Submitter:

Jeannine Sebel

Date Deposited:

17 Apr 2014 12:08

Last Modified:

26 Oct 2015 10:16

Publisher DOI:

10.1177/0146167213480189

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.43913

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/43913

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