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Age and Race Differences in the Trajectories of Self-Esteem

Publication Abstract

Shaw, B.A., Jersey Liang, and Neal Krause. 2010. "Age and Race Differences in the Trajectories of Self-Esteem." Psychology and Aging, 25(1): 84-94.

The purpose of this research was to assess age- and race-based variation in within-persons changes in self-esteem over a 16-year period. We used hierarchical linear modeling with data from 3,617 adults 25 years of age and older who were interviewed up to 4 times. Self-esteem increased, oil average, over the course of the study period. At the same time, significant age variations around this trend were observed, with younger adults experiencing increases in self-esteem and older adults experiencing decreases. In general, race differences were not evident with respect to average levels or rates of change in self-esteem. However, a significant Age x Race interaction suggested that late-life declines in self-esteem were steeper for Blacks compared with Whites. These findings suggest the presence of age- and race-based stratification with respect to self-esteem. Future work in this area should examine the health and well-being effects of declining self-esteem during old age.

DOI:10.1037/a0018242 (Full Text)

PMCID: PMC2841299. (Pub Med Central)

Country of focus: United States.

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