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Structure and Stability of Self-Esteem in Late Teens


Tashakkori, Abbas; Thompson, Vaida D.; Wade, Timothy J.; & Valente, Ernest (1990). Structure and Stability of Self-Esteem in Late Teens. Personality and Individual Differences, 11(9), 885-893.


Research on stability and structure of self-esteem has led to some controversies in the last few years. Although self-esteem is shown to be stable in late adolescence, changes, often positive, have also been documented. The present research uses an attitudinal framework and a large longitudinal data set to explore these issues. As expected, results indicated that, across a 2-yr time period, self-esteem was stable, although a slight positive change was observed. When change occurred, it was not solely in self-esteem, but in a relatively large array of other self-relevant variables directly or indirectly representing beliefs about self. Attributions of personal control over one's own outcomes and behaviors were found to be potent statistical predictors of self-esteem and its change over time, although no causality can be inferred from these findings. Furthermore, respondents with low self-esteem at time I were found to lag behind those with high self-esteem on all self-related variables at time 2. It is concluded that self-beliefs and the related proximal psychological variables are better predictors of self-esteem and its change than are distal socio-demographic variables.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Personality and Individual Differences


Tashakkori, Abbas
Thompson, Vaida D.
Wade, Timothy J.
Valente, Ernest