Considering Leary & Baumeister’s definition of self-esteem to entail a person’s appraisal of his or her value (2000, p. 2), this research study sought to explain the relationship between age and self esteem. While recognizing the inconsistent research results about this correlation, this research study reviewed several literatures confirm this assertion. According to these previously established research studies, the self-esteem of individuals increase during the young ages and remain the same in the middle adulthood ages. This phenomenon reaches the peak at about 60 years and start declining as old age approaches. According to these research studies, self-esteem reduces at around 80 to 90 years and above to a very low level that these people no accord themselves any value.
In this research study, the participants were segmented into three categories according to age differences. While administering similar questions to the different groups, the results revealed that the peak age that the participants presented the highest self-esteem is 40 years. Before this age, most people accord themselves moderate self-esteem. When they reach around 40 years and immediately after 40 years (between 35 and 45), their responses to the research question were ‘ strongly agree’ or ‘ strongly disagree.’ The correlation significance in this research study was . 002, which implies that the correlation between age and self-esteem is negative, which is -. 541. according to these research findings, it therefore implies that most people between 15 and 45 years are satisfied with themselves, think they are good, feel they have several good qualities, consider that they can do things as well as other people or even better, and believe they have much to be proud of them. Additionally, they feel very useful, successful, worthy of respect for themselves, and generally take a positive attitude toward themselves. However, on the contrary, as age increases toward 60s, people begin to exhibit the negative of the former responses. This reveals the descriptive statistics results of standard deviation for self-esteem being 7. 16505 while that of the ages of the respondents being 15. 60004, which is double the former.
According to this research study, the possible reasons for this negative correlation and trend between age and self-esteem could include responsibilities, life events, age related factors, and personality among several other reasons. As people approach their 40s and early 50s, they have higher productivity that comes with greater responsibilities to their families. However, as they get out of employment, these responsibilities reduce as members of the family start become self-responsibly. This lowers self-esteem because the retiring population starts considering themselves as less responsible as they were in the past. Additionally, younger generations often have higher self-esteem since they have higher personality accord for themselves. However, life events such as social classes determine self-esteem among this population – younger population from richer families has higher self-esteem compared to their poor family counterparts.
The research findings in this research study can be used in future research studies to help determine the relationships between self-esteem and age. This research study also recommends that future research studies should use interviews, focus group discussions, and more variables to determine this correlation. Nevertheless, despite these findings, this research study also predicts that there are several players in this correlation.
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Erol, Ruth and Orth, Ulrich. “ Self-Esteem Development From Age 14 to 30 Years: A Longitudinal Study.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. (Vol. 101, No. 3, 607– 619). American Psychological Association. 2011
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Shaw, Liang & Krause. “ Age and Race Differences in the Trajectories of Self-esteem.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, (Vol. 97, No. 4, 643– 676). American Psychological Association, 2010