Analysis of Self Esteem Research

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Self-esteem has become an increasingly popular social term throughout history. In their scientific paper “The Development of Self-Esteem” Orth and Robins investigate multiple aspects of self-esteem. First, they investigate the trajectory of self-esteem throughout one’s life and observe trends in this trajectory across multiple studies. They also discuss what personality traits tend to lead to higher reports of self-esteem in individuals.

The stability of self-esteem is also discussed as Orth and Robins investigate whether self-esteem is contingent of a person’s successes and failures in life. One major application discussed in the paper was whether self-esteem is a predictor of overall success in life in terms of creating lasting relationships, health, and wealth. Below the findings for these questions and insights will be discussed and be used to answer a hypothetical question.

When analyzing the results of studies conducted on the trajectory of self-esteem Orth and Robins discovered common trends. What typically occurs is a steady increase in self-esteem from adolescence to adulthood with a peak around age 55. After this peak a steep decline in self-esteem is observed for the remainder of the person’s life (Orth and Robins 2014). Although men tend to report higher levels of self-esteem than women, gender did not influence the trajectory of self-esteem. Ethnicity however, did play a part in affecting the trend of self-esteem. One example provided was that African Americans, when compared to Americans of European descent, have a sharper increase in self-esteem from adolescence to adulthood as well as a sharper decline from midlife into late adulthood (Orth and Robins 2014)

The stability of self-esteem trajectory was also observed in their scientific paper. Orth and Robins looked to answer the question of whether self-esteem fluctuate based on the given situation or whether it changed only gradually and slowly throughout time (Orth and Robins 2014). References to multiple studies suggest that self-esteem behaves more like personality traits, changing gradually over time. However, other studies do show that there can be slight variances in one’s self esteem, much like how one’s trait of extrovertism can be altered (Orth and Robins 2014).

One of the most important questions investigated the Orth and Robins’ scientific paper was whether self-esteem had any effect on one’s overall success. Studies show that self-esteem can be thought of as a predictor of life success rather than a result of that success (Orth and Robins 2014). When self-esteem becomes too dependent on one’s success and other external factors, it can indicate dysfunction in one’s life because it shows how the person does not have a strong feeling of self-worth (Orth and Robins 2014).

The studies referenced in the scientific paper have helped identify two groups at risk of low self-esteem. Adolescents and the elderly are these high-risk groups although the extent of the low self-esteem can vary. Knowing these are the high-risk groups can help professionals identify risk factors and target the underlying issues that may be causing this low self-esteem (Orth and Robins 2014).

Longitudinal studies were used to present the data discussed in the scientific paper. Simple graphs and charts were used to illustrate the trajectory of self-esteem as well as the stability of self-esteem.

Now our focus is concerned with applying the previously described research to a real-life scenario. In the applied challenge presented, a friend approaches us concerned with their low self-esteem. They claim they will be stuck feeling this way forever and it will be something they have to deal with. Based on the scientific evidence presented we can assure our friend that they will not be stuck with their low self-esteem.

Firstly, we could address the scientific paper by Orth and Robins, explaining how it analyzed the data of many studies and observed the patterns of data that support their claims. This would show our friend that our data is coming from a valid source and not solely based on a single study.

The first major point we could emphasize, is that based on the longitudinal studies discussed by Orth and Robins, the trajectory of self-esteem is typically lowest at adolescence (although more studies need to be done on childhood self-esteem to confirm this point) and steadily increases from age 20 well into adulthood until it declines again around age 60 (Orth and Robins 2014). We could explain how it is normal for someone to have feelings of low self-esteem at adolescence, and that based on scientific evidence self-esteem will increase steadily as you grow older.

Although the observed trajectory of self-esteem is uplifting it would be wise to inform our friend that it is a variable trait. External factors can affect self-esteem as described in the paper by Orth and Robins, such as one’s successes and failures. Linked to this point is that fact that according to evidence presented in the paper, one’s self esteem can be looked at as a predictor of overall success (Orth and Robins 2014). After presenting our friend with these data points we could advise them that although our self-esteem is variable, it is important to develop our own idea of self-worth. We could advise them that relying too much on successes and failures can become maladaptive to their success and any attempts to increase their self-esteem. (Orth and Robins 2014).

The studies discussed in the paper by Orth and Robins also point to adolescents being one of the age groups most at risk for developing low self-esteem, along with the elderly. Because this helps identify the risk factors for these age groups it would be important to discuss with our friend why they have these feelings of low self-esteem or encourage them to speak with a professional. This could help them stray from any dysfunctional path they may be on and help them to better develop their self-esteem.

Based on the evidence presented to our friend from the paper by Orth and Robins, they should feel reassured they are not doomed to suffer from low self-esteem for the remainder of their life.


Cite this paper

Analysis of Self Esteem Research. (2021, Mar 19). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/analysis-of-self-esteem-research/

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