A poem for a helper …


What We Are Here For 

We are here to listen…not to work miracles. 

We are here to help people discover what they are feeling…not to make feelings go away. 

We are here to help people identify their options…not to decide for them what they should do. 

We are here to discuss steps with people…not to take the steps with them. 

We are here to help people discover their own strength…not to rescue them and leave them still vulnerable. 

We are here to help people discover they can help themselves…not to take responsibility for them. 

We are here to help people learn to choose…not to make it unnecessary for them to make difficult choices. 

We are here to provide support for changes. 

Author Unknown


Soeren Kierkegaard, 1851

If I want to successfully bring a person to a definite goal, I must find where she is, and start right there. He, who cannot do that, fools himself when he thinks that he can help others. To help somebody, I certainly must understand more than she does, but above all understand what she understands. If I cannot do that, it is of no help that I am more able than she is and that I know more than she does.

If I still want to show how much I know, the reason is that I am vain and arrogant, and because I in fact want to be admired by the other rather than help her. All true helpfulness begins with humbleness before the person I want to help, and thereby I must realize that to help is not a desire to rule but a wish to serve. If I cannot do that, I cannot help anybody.”

–  Soeren Kierkegaard, 1851

Mindfulness in the Morning is More than Meditation By Louis Alloro

Mindfulness in the Morning is More than Meditation
By Louis Alloro

By Louis Alloro –
Alarm clock goes off

The alarm goes off in the morning. You may think:
(a) I didn’t get enough sleep last night.
(b) I am super excited to start the day.

Most people, whether they are conscious of it or not, think (a) “I didn’t get enough sleep last night” as they hit the snooze button for eight more minutes of sleep. In fact, it’s a thought like this that

causes an action of inaction which keeps you staying in bed, missing your workout, and being late to work.

Further, this thought of “not enough” is the first in a sle




w of negative, scarcity thoughts that continue all day long, usually ending with “I haven’t gotten enough done today” as they hit the pillow to go to sleep at night.

Sound familiar?

Psychologists call it negativity bias, the notion supported by research that we are wired to focus on potential threats, the “what if something bad will happen next” type of thought that has an adaptive purpose in the era of survival. (Think saber tooth tiger potentially around the next corner in the woods.)

But for those of us looking to thrive, we can learn to recondition our often default thinking onto a more positive path, thereby influencing our energy, immunity, sleep, and even success. (Think Olympic athlete as she prepares to go for the gold.)

Here’s where mindfulness comes in.

Mindfulness is “A mental state of calm awareness of the present moment, marked by acceptance, openness and curiosity toward your thoughts and feelings, rather than judgments of them,” according to the consensual definition.

When you recognize scarcity thinking, you may think:

(a) There you go again, you negative nelly.
(b) Isn’t that fascinating that I am so conditioned. Thankfully, I can rewire.

This awareness of the present moment is what mindfulness is all about. To that end, mindfulness is a way of being in the world. It’s not yet another way to improve yourself, not another item for your to-do list, and not just meditation. No one is exempt from doing the work to develop a mindfulness muscle. It takes practice.

Learn to knit

Dr. Ellen Langer, the first woman to be granted tenure in the Harvard Psychology Department, has been studying mindfulness since the 1970s. One book called Counterclockwise highlights some of her research that shows mindfulness can help us increase vitality and even reverse the aging process.
Langer suggests we take up a creative class that can bring out attention to detail as we learn a skill (like painting or knitting) which focuses our attention in a particular way and for a sustained period of time where we base one step on the previous step, thereby adapting what comes in the present moment to what will happen next.

She says, “When people are mindful, they are open to generating new ways of looking at the world and are not controlled by routines and habitual ways of observing . . . the simple process of actively drawing distinctions.”

Building mindfulness

Our lives are written so by routine. When was the last time you took a new route to work in the morning?

I encourage clients to take mindful walks. The next time you walk to the coffee shop, put your cellphone away and focus on feeling the full strides of your feet on the ground. Or, do the dishes mindfully. Instead of thinking about what you “should have done earlier” or what you “need to do next,” just be with the dish for a minute and feel the full sensations of warm water suds on your hands. These types of slight shifts in how you normally run on default mode will strengthen your mindfulness muscle.


It’s true – with extensive research to back it up – that meditation is a great practice to build mindfulness for the same reasons it focuses our attention. If you think you don’t know how to meditate, you can learn and if you think you don’t have ten minutes a day to meditate, then you need twenty.
It’s a simple concept: we construct our reality (our experience of the world) in large part by where we put our limited attention. (How many of you feel a little Attention-Deficit-Disordered (ADD) these days?) More often than we recognize, we can make choices consciously and intentionally thereby getting more of what we want in life: more health, more wealth, specifically:

Decreased anxiety and stress
Increased heart-rate variability
Increased immune response
Activated prefrontal cortex, which allows our best, most creative thinking
Or, how about peace? Teacher Thich Nhat Hanh says, “Through mindfulness, we can learn to live in the present moment instead of in the past and in the future. Dwelling in the present moment is the only way to truly develop peace, both in one’s self and in the world.”

The world needs peace right now. The world needs you to increase your mindfulness. So, thank you for practicing and building your mindfulness muscle. (But don’t say “no problem” because that ain’t mindful, according to Joseph Amodeo.)

When the alarm goes off tomorrow morning, take a slow and low cleansing breath and remember to express gratitude for another day to be alive.

Author’s Note: Louis Alloro is a founding partner at The Flourishing Center and Director of the Philadelphia cohort of the 6-month Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology (CAPP) program that will begin in March. Other CAPP cohorts in NYC and San Francisco with an executive education model that allows you to travel in from out of town. For more information, visit Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology.
Amodeo, J. (2015). The 2 Words You Should Stop Using Right Now. Psychology Today series, Intimacy: A Path toward Spirituality. The 2 words are “no problem.”

Baumeister, Roy F.; Finkenauer, Catrin; Vohs, Kathleen D. (2001). Bad is stronger than good. Review of General Psychology 5 (4): 323–370.

Bishop, R., Lau, M., Shapiro, S.,Carlson, L., Anderson, N., Carmody, J., Segal, Z., Abbey, S., Speca, M., Velting, D. & Devins, G. (2004). Mindfulness: A Proposed Operational Definition. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice V11 N3: 230-241.

Giovanni (no date). Scientific benefits of meditation: 76 things you might be missing out. Live and Dare blog. “There are over 3,000 scientific studies on the benefits of meditation, but I have not found any blog that compiles hundreds of researches into an organised article, so decided to fill in the gap.”

Langer, E. (2009). Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility. New York: Ballantine Books.

Talks by Thich Nhat Hanh can be found at the Thich Nhat Hanh Dharma Talks.

Hanh, T. N. (1987). Being Peace. New York: Parallax Press.

Photo Credit: via Compfight with Creative Commons license
Alarm clock courtesy of Szift

Knitting picture courtesy of Ed Britton
Meditation picture courtesy of Louis Alloro

This article first appeared on Positive Psychology News. To see the original article, click here. To comment on this article, click here.
Louis Alloro, M.Ed., MAPP ’08, is a cofounder of a 6-month Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology Program, Fellow at the Center for Advancement of Wellbeing at George Mason University, and founder of SOMO Leadership Labs, a community intervention. Web site. Full Bio.

Articles by Louis are here.


Ranking of Counseling Psychology Programs

Ranking of Counseling Psychology Programs
This page contains links to 40 psychology departments rank-ordered in research productivity according to Delgado, E. A., & Howard, G. S. (1994). Changes in research productivity in counseling psychology: Revisting Howard (1983) a decade later. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 41, 69-73.

For additional program rankings, please see:

General Psychology Rankings:
• NRC Ranking of U.S. Psychology Ph.D. Programs
• U.S. Psychology Ph.D. Programs
• United Kingdom Psychology Programs
• U.S. Undergraduate Psychology

Psychology Subfield Rankings:
• U.S. Social Psychology Ph.D. Programs
• U.S. and Canadian Clinical Programs by EPPP
• U.S. and Canadian Clinical Programs by Pubs
• U.S. Psychology Ph.D. Programs by Area

Other Disciplines:
• U.S. Sociology Ph.D. Programs
• U.S. Social Work/Welfare Programs

The Canadian Psychological Association Graduate Guide is a good source of information on graduate study in Canada, and John Krantz also maintains an extensive international list of Psychology Departments.

Note to Students: The rankings below should be considered no more than a rough approximation. You would be well advised to consult as many faculty members as possible for feedback on your top school choices before applying to graduate school. Admission to graduate school is competitive, so apply to as many schools as possible; have your friends, family, and academic advisors look over your application materials; and if you receive letters of rejection, don’t lose your sense of humor!
Counseling Psychology Rankings
Rank School Department Productivity Index
1 University of Missouri–Columbia Psychology 8.455
2 University of Maryland–College Park Psychology 7.521
3 Ohio State University Psychology 5.232
4 University at Albany, SUNY Psychology 4.676
5 University of Iowa Psychology 4.270
6 University of North Texas Psychology 4.210
7 University of California–Santa Barbara Psychology 4.034
8 University of Minnesota–Twin Cities Psychology 3.830
9 Arizona State University Psychology 3.660
10 Virgina Commonwealth University Psychology 3.618
11 University of Notre Dame Psychology 3.244
12 University of Illinois–Urbana/Champaign Psychology 3.237
13 University of California–Irvine Psychology 3.196
14 Pennsylvania State University–Univ. Park Psychology 3.054
15 Southern Illinois University at Carbondale Psychology 2.987
16 University of Nebraska–Lincoln Psychology 2.881
17 University of Florida Psychology 2.716
18 University of Akron Psychology 2.677
19 University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill Psychology 2.632
20 Colorado State University Psychology 2.623
21 Stanford University Psychology 2.561
22 University of British Columbia Psychology 2.514
23 University of California–Los Angeles Psychology 2.397
24 University of Kansas Psychology 2.365
25 University of Georgia Psychology 2.332
26 University of Texas–Austin Psychology 2.321
27 Kent State University Psychology 2.285
28 University of Washington Psychology 2.270
29 Iowa State University Psychology 2.255
30 Michigan State University Psychology 2.211
31 University of Oregon Psychology 1.937
32 Columbia University Psychology 1.904
33 University of Southern California Psychology 1.837
34 University of Denver Psychology 1.776
35 University of Tennessee–Knoxville Psychology 1.650
36 University of Wisconsin–Madison Psychology 1.506
37 Kansas State University Psychology 1.389
38 University of Western Ontario Psychology 1.335
39 University of Utah Psychology 1.287
40 Syracuse University Psychology 1.286

source: http://www.socialpsychology.org/gcounsel.htm

Youth culture


Youth culture

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Teen girls fraternizing

Youth culture is the way adolescents live, and the norms, values, and practices they share.[1] Culture is the shared symbolic systems, and processes of maintaining and transforming those systems. Youth culture differs from the culture of older generations.[2]

Elements of youth culture include beliefs, behaviors, styles, and interests. An emphasis on clothes, popular music, sports, vocabulary, and dating set adolescents apart from other age groups, giving them what many believe is a distinct culture of their own.[3] Within youth culture, there are many distinct and constantly changing youth subcultures. These subcultures’ norms, values, behaviors, and styles vary widely, and may differ from the general youth culture.



Existence of youth culture[edit]

There is debate about whether or not youth culture exists. Some researchers argue that youth’s values and morals are not distinct from those of their parents, which means that youth culture is not a separate culture. Just because we see the presence of what seems to be a youth culture today does not mean that this phenomenon extends to all generations of young people. Additionally, peer influence varies greatly between contexts and by sex, age, and social status, making a single “youth culture” difficult, if not impossible, to define.[4]

Others argue that there are definite elements of youth society that constitute culture, and that these elements differ from those of their parents’ culture. Janssen et al. have used the terror management theory (TMT) to argue for the existence of youth culture.[5] TMT is a psychological concept that hypothesizes that culture originates from an attempt to cope with the knowledge of mortality. Society does this by adopting a worldview and developing self-esteem. Researchers test TMT by exposing people to reminders of their mortality. TMT is supported if being reminded of death causes people to cling more strongly to their worldview. Janssen et al. tested the following hypothesis: “If youth culture serves to help adolescents deal with problems of vulnerability and finiteness, then reminders of mortality should lead to increased allegiance to cultural practices and beliefs of the youth.” Their results supported their hypothesis and the results of previous studies, suggesting that youth culture is, in fact, a culture.

Schwartz and Merten used the language of adolescents to argue for the presence of youth culture as distinct from the rest of society.[6] Schwartz argued that high school students used their vocabulary to create meanings that are distinct to adolescents. Specifically, the adolescent status terminology (the words that adolescents use to describe hierarchical social statuses) contains qualities and attributes that are not present in adult status judgments. According to Schwartz, this reflects a difference in social structures and the way that adults and teens experience social reality. This difference indicates cultural differences between adolescents and adults, which supports the presence of a separate youth culture.[6]


Throughout the 20th century, youths had a strong influence on both lifestyle and culture. The flappers and the Mods are two great examples of the impact of youth culture on society. The flappers were young women, confident about a prosperous future after World War I, and they became the symbol of effervescence.[7] This liveliness was seen in her new attitude in life in which she openly drank, smoked, and many socialized with gangster type men. The fashionable dress at the time also reflected the flapper’s new lifestyle. Hems were raised, waists dropped, and hair was cut into bobs. This not only created a look that was dramatically different from the corseted, structured dresses of previous generations, but it also created a new freedom that allowed the wearer to move in ways one was unable to before. This break from older values was also apparent in a new posture embraced by the flappers. . Instead of an upright, corseted posture, they preferred “a ‘lop-sided’ stance characterized by ‘sunken chests and round shoulders,’ [which] suggested fatigue rather than beauty.”[8] The flappers exemplified how youth culture was influential in fashion and lifestyle.

Mods also are a great example of a youth culture movement inspiring a popular lifestyle. Similar to the flappers, they also emerged during a time of war and political and social troubles. They were a group of kids that stemmed from a group called the modernists. The Mods were young men and women who came from all classes, and they believed that their fashion choices “gave them entrée everywhere,” and their fashion choices empowered them.[9] The women’s fashions were short and reflected an ideal, youthful body unforgiving to women with curves. They also cut their hair short, possibly a “homage to the flappers of the 1920’s.”[10] The Mod style and embrace of modern technology spread from the UK overseas to America as well as other countries, proving it to be an extremely influential youth culture movement.


The presence of youth culture is a relatively recent historical phenomenon. There are several dominant theories about the emergence of youth culture in the 20th century. These include theories about the historical, economic, and psychological influences on the presence of youth culture. One historical theory credits the emergence of youth culture to the beginning of compulsory schooling. James Coleman argues that age segregation is the root of a separate youth culture.[11] Before compulsory schooling, many children and adolescents interacted primarily with adults. In contrast, modern children associate extensively with others their own age. These interactions allow adolescents to develop shared experiences and meanings, which are the root of youth culture.

Another theory posits that some types of cultures facilitate the development of youth culture, while others do not. The basis of this distinction is the presence of universalistic or particularistic norms. Particularistic norms are guidelines for behavior that vary from one individual to another. In contrast, universalistic norms apply to all members of a society.[12] Universalistic norms are more likely to be found in industrialized societies. Modernization in the last century or so has encouraged universalistic norms, since interaction in modern societies makes it necessary for everyone to learn the same set of norms. Modernization and universalistic norms have encouraged the growth of youth culture. The need for universalistic norms has made it impractical for young people’s socialization to come primarily from immediate family members, which would lead to significant variation in the norms that are communicated. Therefore, many societies use age grouping, such as in schools, to educate their children on societies’ norms and prepare them for adulthood. Youth culture is a byproduct of this tactic. Because children spend so much time together and learn the same things as the rest of their age group, they develop their own culture.

Psychological theorists have noted the role of youth culture in identity development. Youth culture may be a means of achieving identity during a time when one’s role in life is not always clear. Erik Erikson theorized that the major psychological conflict of adolescence is identity versus role confusion. The goal of this stage of life is to answer the question, “Who am I?” This can be difficult in many societies in which adolescents are simultaneously expected to behave like children and take on adult roles. Some psychologists have theorized that the formation of youth culture is an attempt to adopt an identity that reconciles these two conflicting expectations.

For example, Parsons (1951) posited that adolescence is a time when young people are transitioning from reliance on parents to autonomy. In this transitory state, dependence on the peer group serves as a stand-in for parents.[13] Burlingame restated this hypothesis in 1970. He wrote that adolescents replace parents with the peer group, and that this reliance on the peer group diminishes as youth enter adulthood and take on adult roles.[14]

Fasick relates youth culture as a method of identity development to the simultaneous elongation of childhood and need for independence that occurs in adolescence. According to Fasick, adolescents face contradictory pulls from society. On one hand, compulsory schooling keeps them socially and economically dependent on their parents. On the other hand, young people need to achieve some sort of independence in order to participate in the market economy of modern society. As a means of coping with these contrasting aspects of adolescence, youth create independence through behavior—specifically, through the leisure-oriented activities that are done with peers.[15]

Impact on adolescents[edit]

For decades, adults have worried that youth subcultures were the root of moral degradation and changing values in younger generations.[16] Researchers have characterized youth culture as embodying values that are “in conflict with those of the adult world”,[17] Common concerns about youth culture include a perceived lack of interest in education, involvement in risky behaviors like substance use and sexual activity, and engaging extensively in leisure activities.[18] These perceptions have led many adults to believe that adolescents hold different values than older generations and to perceive youth culture as an attack on the morals of current society.[19] These worries have prompted the creation of parenting websites such as theyouthculturereport.com and the Center for Parent Youth Understanding (cpyu.org), whose goal is to preserve the values of older generations in young people.[20]

Despite the attitudes of many adults, there is not a consensus among researchers about whether youth subcultures hold different beliefs than adults do. Some researchers have noted the simultaneous rise in age segregation and adolescent adjustment problems such as suicide, delinquency, and premarital pregnancy.[21]Perhaps the increased prevalence of age segregation contributed to the problems of modern youth, and these problems represent a difference in values. However, most evidence suggests that these youth problems are not a reflection of different morals held by younger generations. Multiple studies have found that most adolescents hold views that are similar to their parents.[22] One study challenged the theory that adolescent cohorts have distanced themselves from their parents by finding that between 1976 and 1982, a time when rates of adolescent problems increased, adolescents became less peer-oriented.[23] A second study’s finding that adolescents’ values were more similar to their parents’ in the 1980s than they were in the 1960s and ‘70s echoes Sebald’s findings.[24] Another study did find differences between adolescents’ and parents’ attitudes, but found that the differences were in the degree of belief, not in the attitude itself.[25]

There may also be pluralistic ignorance on the part of youth regarding how their attitudes compare to peers and parents. A study by Lerner et al. asked college students to compare their attitudes on a number of issues to the attitudes of their peers and parents. Most students rated their attitudes as falling somewhere between their parents’ more conservative attitudes and their peers’ more liberal attitudes. The authors suggested that the reason for this is that the students perceived their friends as more liberal than they really were.[26]

If adolescents’ values are similar to their parents’, this raises the question of why adults insist that adolescents inhabit a separate world with different values. One reason may be that the similarities between adolescent and adult values are relatively invisible compared to the differences between these two groups. The way young people dress, the music they listen to, and their language are often more apparent than the values they hold. This may lead adults to overemphasize the differences between youth and other age groups.[27]

Adults may also falsely believe that youth’s assertion of independence in exterior aspects of their life represents a manifestation of a different value system. In reality, sports, language, music, clothing and dating tend to be superficial ways of expressing autonomy—they can be adopted without compromising one’s beliefs or values.[28] Of course, there are some areas in which adolescents’ assertion of autonomy can cause long-term consequences. These include behaviors involving substance use and sexual activity.

The impact of youth culture on deviance and sexual behavior is debatable. Drinking alcohol is normative for adolescents in the United States, with more than 70% of high school students reporting ever having had a drink.[29] Similarly, about 2/3 of teenagers have engaged in sexual intercourse by the time they leave high school.[30] Because they are ubiquitous in adolescence, many researchers include drinking and having sex as aspects of youth culture.[31] Engaging in these activities can definitely have harmful consequences for adolescents, although the majority of adolescents who engage in these risky behaviors do not suffer long-term consequences. The possibilities of addiction, pregnancy, incarceration, and other negative outcomes are some potentially negative effects of participation in youth culture.

However, youth culture may also have benefits for the adolescent. We have already discussed how youth culture may facilitate identity development in the teenage years. Peer influence can also have a positive effect on adolescents’ well-being. For example, most teens report that their friends pressure them not to use drugs or engage in sexual activity.[32]

Impact on society in general[edit]

Student Vietnam War protesters

Young people can be a powerful force in precipitating change in society. Youth-led revolutions in the 20th and 21st centuries attest to this fact. Organizations of young people, which were often based on a student identity, were crucial to the American Civil Rights Movement. These include organizations such as the Southern Student Organizing Committee, Students for a Democratic Society and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, whose role in sit-ins, protests, and other activities of the Civil Rights movement were crucial to its success. The Freedom Summer relied heavily on college students; hundreds of students engaged in registering African Americans to vote, teaching in “Freedom Schools”, and organizing the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.[33]

The American protests in the Vietnam War were also student-driven. Many college campuses were buzzing during the war with protests, sit-ins, and demonstrations. Organizations such as the Young Americans for Freedom, the Student Libertarian Movement, and the Student Peace Union were based on youth status and contributed to participation in anti-war activities. Some scholars have claimed that the activism of youth during the Vietnam War was symbolic of a youth culture whose values were against those of mainstream American culture.[34][35]

More recently, the Arab Spring has drawn attention because of the role young people have played in demonstrations and protests. The activities of the movement have been initiated primarily by young people, often college students who are unsatisfied with the opportunities afforded to them in the current political climate. The participation of young people has been so crucial that it led TIME magazine to include several youth members of the movement in its 2011 list of 100 most influential people.[36] Additionally, the movement has relied heavily on social media (which can be considered an aspect of youth culture) to schedule, coordinate, and publicize events.[37]

Some scholars have studied the trends that accompany social unrest, and have suggested ties between youth and revolt. Most notable is Gunnar Heinsohn’s theory of the youth bulge. According to this theory, an especially large population of young people, especially males, is associated with social unrest, war, and terrorism. The rationale that Heinsohn gives is that that these population trends leave many people unable to find prestigious places in society, so they turn their attention to creating change in society.

See also[edit]


  1. Jump up^ “the sum of the ways of living of adolescents; it refers to the body of norms, values, and practices recognized and shared by members of the adolescent society as appropriate guides to actions”.Rice, F. (1996). The adolescent: Development, relationships and culture (7th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
  2. Jump up^ http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Youth_culture.aspx
  3. Jump up^ Fasick, Frank A. (1984). Parents, Peers, Youth Culture and Autonomy in Adolescence., Adolescence, 19(73) p.143-157
  4. Jump up^ Steinberg, L. (2008). Adolescence. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
  5. Jump up^ Janssen, J., Dechesne, M, & Van Knippenberg, A. (1999). The Psychological Importance of Youth Culture: A Terror Management Approach. Youth & Society, 31(2), 152-167.
  6. Jump up to:a b Schwartz, G. & Merten. D. (1967). The Language of Adolescence: An Anthropological Approach to the Youth Culture. The American Journal of Sociology, 72(5), 453-468.
  7. Jump up^ Goldberg, Ronald Allen (2003). America in the Twenties. New York: Syracuse University Press. p. 138.
  8. Jump up^ Latham, Angela (2000). Posing A Threat: Flappers, Chorus Girls, and Other Brazen Performers oft the American 1920’s. Hanover: University Press of New England. p. 21.
  9. Jump up^ Feldman, Christine (2009). “We Are The Mods:” A Transnational History of a Youth Subculture. New York: Peter Lang Publishing Inc. p. 25.
  10. Jump up^ Feldman, Christine (2009). “We Are The Mods:” A Transnational History of a Youth Subculture. New York: Peter Lang Publishing Inc. p. 20.
  11. Jump up^ Coleman, J. (1961). The adolescent society. Glencoe, IL: Free Press.
  12. Jump up^ Steinberg, L. (2008). Adolescence. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
  13. Jump up^ Parsons, T. The Social System. Glencoe, Ill: Free Press, 1951.
  14. Jump up^ Burlingame, W.V. The youth culture. In E.D. Evans (Ed.), Adolescents: Readings in behavior and development. Hinsdale, Ill: Dryden Press, 1970, pp. 131-149.
  15. Jump up^ Fasick, F. (1984). Parents, Peers, Youth Culture and Autonomy in Adolescence. Adolescence, 19(73), 143-157.
  16. Jump up^ Steinberg, L. (2008). Adolescence. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
  17. Jump up^ Sugarman, Barry. Involvement in Youth Culture, Academic Achievement and Conformity in School: An Empirical Study of London Schoolboys. 1967. The British Journal of Sociology, 18. 151-164.
  18. Jump up^ Parsons, T. (1954). Age and Sex in the Social Structure of the United States. In Essays in Sociological Theory, 89-103. New York: Free Press.
  19. Jump up^ Steinberg, L. (2008). Adolescence. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
  20. Jump up^ http://cpyu.org/page.aspx?id=76589
  21. Jump up^ Bronfenbrenner, U. (1974). The origins of alienation. Scientific American, 231, 53-61.
  22. Jump up^ Fasick, F. (1984). Parents, Peers, Youth Culture and Autonomy in Adolescence., Adolescence, 19(73), 143-157.
  23. Jump up^ Sebald, H. (1986). Adolescents’ shifting orientation toward parents and peers: A curvilinear trend over recent decades. Journal of Marriage and Family, 48, 5-13.
  24. Jump up^ Gecas, V., & Seff, M. (1990). Families and adolescents: A review of the 1980s. Journal of Marriage and Family, 52, 941-958.
  25. Jump up^ Weinstock, A., & Lerner, R.M. (1972). Attitudes of late adolescents and their parents toward contemporary issues. Psychological Reports, 30, 239-244.
  26. Jump up^ Lerner, R.M., Meisels, M., & Knapp, J.R. (1975). Actual and perceived attitudes of late adolescents and their parents: The phenomenon of the generation gaps. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 126, 195-207.
  27. Jump up^ Fasick, F. (1984). Parents, Peers, Youth Culture and Autonomy in Adolescence., Adolescence, 19(73), 143-157.
  28. Jump up^ Fasick, F. (1984). Parents, Peers, Youth Culture and Autonomy in Adolescence. Adolescence, 19(73), 143-157.
  29. Jump up^ http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/youthonline/App/Results.aspx?TT=&OUT=&SID=HS&QID=H39&LID=&YID=&LID2=&YID2=&COL=&ROW1=&ROW2=&HT=&LCT=&FS=&FR=&FG=&FSL=&FRL=&FGL=&PV=&TST=&C1=&C2=&QP=G&DP=&VA=CI&CS=Y&SYID=&EYID=&SC=&SO=
  30. Jump up^ http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/youthonline/App/Results.aspx?TT=&OUT=&SID=HS&QID=H39&LID=&YID=&LID2=&YID2=&COL=&ROW1=&ROW2=&HT=&LCT=&FS=&FR=&FG=&FSL=&FRL=&FGL=&PV=&TST=&C1=&C2=&QP=G&DP=&VA=CI&CS=Y&SYID=&EYID=&SC=&SO=
  31. Jump up^ Fasick, F. (1984). Parents, Peers, Youth Culture and Autonomy in Adolescence. Adolescence, 19(73), 143-157.
  32. Jump up^ Steinberg, L. (2008). Adolescence. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
  33. Jump up^ http://www.crmvet.org/disc/mfdp.htm
  34. Jump up^ Harrison, Benjamin T. (2000)’Roots of the Anti-Vietnam War Movement,’ in Hixson, Walter (ed) the Vietnam Antiwar Movement. New York: Garland Publishing
  35. Jump up^ Meyer, David S. 2007. The Politics of Protest: Social Movements in America. New York: Oxford University Press.
  36. Jump up^ http://www.aaiusa.org/blog/entry/Youth-of-the-Arab-Spring-Among-TIMEs-100-Most-Influential/
  37. Jump up^ http://www.miller-mccune.com/politics/the-cascading-effects-of-the-arab-spring-28575/

This page was last modified on 2 July 2014 at 03:36.

The Bible and Self-Esteem

By Wayne Jackson

No person is one-dimensional. Actually, there are three views of every individual: the view that God has of us, the opinions that others hold concerning us, and the perception we have of ourselves. Each of these is quite important.

First, let us consider the divine vantage point. This is the assessment that is accurate in every detail. The Lord does not observe people merely outwardly, as humans tend to do; rather, “Jehovah looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). The Lord “knows the hearts of the children of men” (1 Kings 8:39). As the godly Hannah acknowledged in her prayer: “Jehovah is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed” (1 Samuel 2:3). Similarly, Christ once affirmed that he did not need to be educated regarding the inner workings of the human personality, because he himself “knew what was in man” (John 2:25). If some of the world’s “beautiful people” were turned inside out, and revealed as God sees them, how grotesque they might appear.

Second, there are the sentiments that our peers entertain regarding us. Such assessments are only relatively accurate. Folks may hold an opinion of us that is greatly exaggerated. Those who are in the public eye are rather idealized at times. On the other hand, some, who are sterling in character, sometimes are maligned unjustly. Jesus certainly did not deserve the hateful reproaches that were heaped upon him. And Paul, the apostle of Christ, suffered a good deal of unmerited character assassination.

Finally, there is that appraisal one makes of himself. Honesty demands that we concede that self-perception may be grossly inflated. That is why we are cautioned not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought (Romans 12:3). We must attempt not to be “high-minded” or “wise in [our] own conceits” (Romans 11:20; 12:16). If we really knew the impressions that others have of us, we might see ourselves in a totally different light, and thus alter our conduct. The Scottish poet Robert Burns produced a short composition titled To A Louse. It pictured a snobbish lady in church, pompously looking down her nose at others, wholly unaware of the fact that a louse was upon her bonnet. The ditty contains these lines:

O wad [would] some Power the giftie gie [give] us To see oursels as ithers [others] see us!

It is important, though, that one have a healthy view of oneself. Jesus said that we should love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:39). That implies a sound concept of self-esteem. Sadly, however, many appear to harbor a very meager appreciation of themselves—so much so that it hinders their effective service to God, and torments their lives with much unhappiness. We believe the Scriptures address this problem, and offer hope to those who are unnecessarily morose due to the malady of an impoverished self-esteem. In this discussion I would like to reflect primarily upon three areas: the causes, the characteristics, and the cure for negative self-esteem.

Causes of Low Self-Esteem

In a discussion of this nature one cannot be exhaustive. It is possible, however, to pinpoint certain known sources of deprived self-esteem. Let us consider the following factors.

Physical Features

Many people have personal esteem problems due to what they perceive as unattractive physical features. From their own viewpoint they may be too heavy, too thin, have a bad complexion, crooked teeth, etc. More likely than not, all of us have physical traits that we would like to alter if such were possible.

But the truth is, while physical characteristics may make an initial impression upon others, they are subordinated rapidly to personality qualities. Some, who are quite attractive physically, are so obnoxious in disposition that folks are loath to be around them. Others, who are a bit “plainer,” have tons of friends because intelligent people are attracted to their charm, wit, compassion, or overall spiritual depth.

Lack of Education

Some feel badly about themselves because of their limited formal education. But remember this:

  • Some of the wisest and most prominent people of history were not privileged with an abundance of formal schooling. Abraham Lincoln spent less that one year in the classroom, yet he was recognized as a brilliant leader.
  • Some of the stupidest folks of history have been laden with education. The expression “educated fool” did not arise in a vacuum.
  • It is never too late to learn. Some have acquired college degrees in their sunset years.
  • In the final analysis, a knowledge of God’s Word is the best depository of information that one can possess. The noted educator, William Lyon Phelps, once said: “I thoroughly believe in a university education for both men and women; but I believe a knowledge of the Bible without a college education is more valuable than a college course without the Bible” (quoted in Dehoff 1956, 13).

Tragic Circumstances

Low self-esteem may result from the tragic circumstances in one’s past. For example, a person may have been conceived out of wedlock, or as the result of rape, and so harbor a self-disgust. The late Ethel Waters, a popular singer, was the offspring of a brutal rape, yet she overcame the knowledge of that horrible event and became a famous and gracious performer who sought to help others.

Children frequently suffer from low self-esteem because of the vile deeds of their parents. This writer knows of a man who, in a drunken rage, murdered a popular city official. The killer’s youngsters languished for years under the humiliation of that brutality. A group of children, all of whom had parents who were divorced, was discussing common problems. Several were overheard reproaching themselves for the break-up of their families. We must learn that we are not responsible for the wicked actions of others. Self-reproach is unwarranted in such cases.

Physical or Emotional Abuse

Abuse can ravage one’s self-esteem. Not infrequently a parent or spouse will berate a child or a companion persistently and viciously, so that the feeling of personal worth in the victim becomes almost nil. An uncaring husband may tell his wife that she is ugly, fat, stupid, or lazy. A good “beating” with words can be as devastating as physical brutality. Some children’s psyches are damaged enormously by sexual abuse. Constant, harsh criticism also can wound a youngster’s sense of personal pride. Victims of abuse must learn that they can get past these horrible experiences and find true happiness in living.


One of the most prominent causes of low self-esteem is an involvement in personal sin. Sin scars terribly. It is sometimes the case that one who loves God deeply, and who strives for spiritual maturity, will, in a moment of weakness, fall into some dreadful form of wickedness. The crushing blow of such a transgression may have lasting effects that so debilitate the person that he has a very difficult time regaining a sense of Christian dignity, particularly if others have been privy to the transgression.

One cannot but be reminded of the agony of David’s soul following his tragic moral lapse with Bathsheba. His body “wasted away” and he “groaned” throughout the day. There was no relief to his troubled spirit either day or night, until he acknowledged his sin and allowed God to take away his pain (see Psalm 32:3-5).

Yielding to evil can rob the conscience of that sense of well-being God intended us to have. But there is a remedy for sin that allows one the opportunity to recapture his sense of joy and purpose. I will discuss that presently.

Characteristics of Low Self-Esteem

The attitudes that dwell within the mind frequently are reflected in the conduct of a person. An inspired writer affirmed that, as one “thinks within himself, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). Jesus himself taught that the state of one’s mind is the fountain of his activity. “For from within, out of the heart of men, evil thoughts proceed” (Mark 7:21). If an individual harbors an unhealthy view of himself, such can be manifested in a variety of distressing ways.

Substance Abuse

It is no secret that many who are suffering from esteem problems have become victims of substance abuse. Self-depreciation has driven some to immerse their woes in alcohol, hard drugs, or a daily pill-popping routine. Drugs are so deceptive; they promise much but deliver nothing—except carnage. Drug abuse is one of the major problems of our nation, much of which stems from a self-perceived lack of worth and a void of purpose for human existence. Other forms of aberrant behavior also follow in the wake of unhealthy personal attitudes.

Sexual Promiscuity

A professional counselor recently dropped by my office for a friendly chat. As we discussed the many problems that seem to rob modern society of reasonable mental health, the conversation turned to the phenomenon of accelerated sexual promiscuity among the nation’s citizenry. The counselor confidently affirmed that many youngsters are growing up with no sense of personal value.

In thousands of instances, children have been neglected and feel quite worthless. Many are casualties of broken homes. Others suffer because their parents are materialistic and so busy working long hours, and at multiple jobs (in order to have more “things”), that they do not have the time to give their children the loving care they so desperately need and want.

Accordingly, many young folks, starving for affection, surrender themselves (without reservation) to anyone who is there to provide a warm hug and an understanding heart. And the fact is, what is true for youngsters also is the case for many adults as well. A lack of personal esteem is a prime cause of sexual immorality. Sexual compromise itself then frequently produces additional humiliation. It thus becomes a vicious circle.

A Critical Spirit

A damaged self-view can result in a haughty or critical demeanor. There are two ways some people deal with their diminutive self-image. They may elevate themselves above others artificially. Or, they may attempt to cut down their associates. The net result is the same. The perpetrator ends up above his peers.

For instance, a lack of self-esteem sometimes is reflected in a person’s exaggeration of his accomplishments. A constant tendency to boast of one’s abilities—even to the point of lying about achievements—is a red-flag signal. “Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth” (Proverbs 27:2). Correspondingly, the tendency to work continually at tearing down others tells more about the character assassin than anything else. An emotionally-healthy person has no need to feed his ego at the expense of others.


A poor self-image sometimes manifests itself in materialism. Some folks feel that if they can surround themselves with an abundance of nice things, it will overcome the feeling of insecurity that seems ever to be with them. We are not suggesting that hard-working people cannot enjoy a quality life as good stewards of the manifold blessings of God. What we are saying is this: the accumulation of material things will not provide the sense of genuine well-being for which each of us longs. Feeling good about oneself, and feeling good about possessions, are entirely different matters.

Allan Cohen is professor of management at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts. He is consultant to many large corporations, including Chase Manhattan, Xerox, Polaroid, etc. Professor Cohen contends:

Young people are free to conquer the world—and they don’t want it. Material prosperity has not made life meaningful. The hunger for love and real meaning are the forces behind the psychedelic revolution (quoted by Zacharias 1990, 70).

Jesus taught:

Take heed, and keep yourselves from all covetousness: for a man’s life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses (Luke 12:15).

Riches of the soul will provide you with a sense of excellence that no bank account, home, or automobile ever can.

The Despair of Secularism

Before we discuss the remedy for poor self-esteem, as set forth in the Sacred Writings, we must observe that the world of philosophy and/or secular psychology has utterly nothing to offer the person of low esteem. The ideology of unbelief cannot generate any true and lasting sense of personal dignity.

The believer may survey the wonders of God’s creation and gasp in contemplation of the fact that all of this was made for humankind. This was David’s sentiment in the eighth Psalm.

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, The moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man that thou visiteth him? (v. 3-4).

In contrast, skepticism offers nothing but the void of the material world.

In his powerful book, Therefore Stand, Wilbur Smith had a chapter titled “The Pessimism of Our Contemporary Skeptics,” in which he cited the testimony of numerous unbelievers relative to their perceptions of human existence and worth. And what a distressing array of complainers it was. The French deist Voltaire (1694-1778) said, for example, that except for a “few sages,” the whole “crowd of human beings is nothing but a horrible assemblage of unfortunate criminals.” He further suggested that “the globe contains nothing but corpses.” He concluded: “I wish I had never been born” (as quoted in Smith 1945, 189). Some disposition!

David Hume (1711-1776), the Scottish philosopher who did more to destroy faith in miracles than any other man who has ever lived, wrote:

Where am I, or what? From what causes do I derive my existence, and to what condition shall I return? . . . I am confounded with all these quotations, and begin to fancy myself in the most deplorable condition imaginable, environed with the deepest darkness, and utterly deprived of the use of every member and faculty (as quoted in Smith 1945, 553).

Little wonder that such a dismal ideology prevails, when one entertains the notion that he serves no real purpose upon this planet; rather, he is merely the unfortunate offspring of the blind and bloody forces of nature.

The English poet Matthew Arnold (1822-1888) was a militant critic of the Bible. In spite of his hostility toward Christianity, Arnold recognized that human existence without a sense of God is bleak indeed. In 1867, he wrote the poem Dover Beach, in which he described an environment void of an awareness of divine benevolence. Part of that composition reads as follows:

. . . the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, not help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkening plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night. (1961, 211-212)

Bertrand Russell, the British agnostic who did so much to oppose biblical religion, once wrote:

I do know the despair of my soul. I know the great loneliness, as I wander through the world like a ghost, speaking in tones that are not heard, lost as if I had fallen from some other planet (1968, 145).

One of Russell’s biographers, in a chapter titled, “The Religion of Sorrow,” quoted the philosopher, in a rare moment of candor:

[T]he loneliness of the human soul is unendurable; nothing can penetrate it except the highest intensity of the sort of love that religious teachers have preached; whatever does not spring from this motive is harmful, or at best useless (Monk 1996, 135).

There is, therefore, no need to consult the skeptic for any sense of intrinsic human worth. His philosophy robs us of much and leaves nothing in return. One’s self-perception certainly is not enhanced by entertaining the notion that he is nothing more than a “naked ape”—to borrow from the title of English zoologist Desmond Morris’s book, The Naked Ape: A Zoologist’s Study of the Human Animal.


Cure for Diminished Self-Esteem

In marked contrast to the stagnant world of secularism, biblical revelation presents two thrilling facts which, if embraced, can provide one with an exhilarating sense of individual excellence.

  1. Man possesses dignity by virtue of his divine generation.
  2. Though blemished by sin, man can regain his self-esteem through the process of spiritual regeneration. Let us probe these two points more deeply.

Who We Are

Man was made in the very image of God himself. On the sixth day of the creation week, God said:

Let us make man in our image and after our likeness . . . . And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them (Genesis 1:26-27; cf. 9:6).

Woman, having been fashioned from man (Genesis 2:20-23), also reflects the glory of God indirectly (1 Corinthians 11:7).

This circumstance, of course, has no reference to our physical constitution, for God is a spirit Being (John 4:24), not a physical one (Luke 24:39; cf. Matthew 16:17). That “image” then consists of

spiritual qualities, in man’s mental and moral attributes as a self-conscious, rational, personal agent, capable of self-determination and obedience to moral law (Orr 1939, 1264).

Another writer noted that the personality is unique, “linking us to what is above, and separating us from what is below” (Marais 1939, 146). We are intellectual, self-conscious, volitional creatures—designed by our Maker for fellowship with him. Even the ancient pagans seem to have retained a vestige of this concept. Aratus, a Greek poet, affirmed: “We are also his offspring” (cf. Acts 17:28). Marais thus concluded: “Psychologically and historically therefore the Bible view [of humankind] is justified.”

Can we actually fathom the unique honor that the Creator has bestowed upon us by endowing us with certain qualities that are intrinsic to his nature? The very contemplation of such is enough to both humble and thrill us.

God’s Unspeakable Gift

A second fact that breathtakingly crowns human beings with a wonderful feeling of value is the fact that God bestowed his Son as a gracious, free gift, so that every accountable person has the potential for redemption. All that is necessary to achieve such is to surrender to the Lord’s will (Hebrews 5:8-9).

That mankind has strayed from the Creator, and become so flawed religiously and morally, is an indisputable fact. If humanity were reprised according to what it deserves, eternal separation from Jehovah (a horror unimaginable) would be its dismal lot. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). There is, however, a way of escape (Hebrews 2:3-4).

Throughout the New Testament, there are repeated affirmations of the universal love of God for fallen man. God so loved the world that he gave his only Son in order to initiate a system of forgiveness (see John 3:16). The Lord would have all men to be saved by means of coming to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4).

Hear the testimony of John the apostle:

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called the children of God; and such we are (1 John 3:1).

Do we really realize the value of this offer of a child-to-Father relationship with God, as a consequence of Christ’s mission (see Galatians 4:4-5)? Again:

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10).

Can anyone bask in that sort of love and not feel a sense of surpassing value?

It would be superfluous to pile up passages that announce Heaven’s concern for the teeming masses of sinful creatures. They are found in abundance. While we are profoundly grateful for those benevolent declarations, one is taken to a new level of gratitude when he reflects upon the fact that the Scriptures consistently assert the message of God’s love for the individual soul. In that trio of parables given by the Lord in Luke 15—the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost boy—the value of the individual person is underscored forcefully. Heaven is not willing that anyone should perish (2 Peter 3:9). And why not? Because the value of a single soul is worth more than the entire world (Matthew 16:26). The apostle Paul, in discussing why we should respect the tender consciences of our kinsmen in Christ, spoke of “the brother for whose sake Christ died” (1 Corinthians 8:11). Had there been but one sinner in all the world’s history, Christ would have died for him. How can one savor these marvelous truths without feeling a sense of profound awe in the divine order of things? When this concept sinks in and takes root, all of the negative influences in the world—which tend to generate self-deprecation—will fade, leaving us with an appreciation of how very special we are.

There is another factor in the divine scheme of things that has long intrigued me. I first addressed it in the autumn of 1973 at the Lubbock Christian College Lectureship. Here are the interesting details: Prior to his coming to Earth, the eternal, personal Word, identified in the New Testament as Christ (John 1:1), was equal to the First Person of the Godhead (Philippians 2:6). However, as a component of implementing this plan, the Word became flesh (John 1:14), thus emptying himself of the “independent exercise” of the divine attributes (cf. Thiessen 1949, 296). In this subordinated capacity, the Son could say: “[T]he Father is greater than I” (John 14:28), and Paul could affirm: “[T]he head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3). The incarnation did not involve a forfeiture of Jesus’ deity, as some have alleged (see Barclay 1959, 45), but it did entail a subordination of role, and an identification with humanity.

This brings us to an important point. When Christ assumed his submission-role as God-man, was that a temporary status, or was the identity-connection with us permanent? Again, we must express our disagreement with Barclay, who asserted: “[T]he manhood of Jesus was not permanent; He became man, but only for a time” (1959, 46). We believe there is clear evidence that, somehow or another, the voluntary subordination of Christ had permanent ramifications. Consider the following:

  • Even though the Lord had already ascended back into heaven, Paul was still proclaiming that he “is [present tense verb] the Son of God” (Acts 9:20).
  • Again, thirty years or so after the Lord’s ascension, the apostle refers to the Savior, our Mediator before God, as the man, Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5).
  • The writer of Hebrews affirmed: “For both he [Christ] that sanctifies [present participle] and they that are sanctified [present participle] are all of one [nature]: for which cause he is not ashamed [present tense] to call them brothers” (Hebrews 2:11).
  • Even in the final order of things, following “the end,” Christ will deliver all things back to God, and he himself be subject to the Father (see 1 Corinthians 15:24-28).

What is the significance of this? If it is the case that the mission of the Son of God involved an eternal surrender of certain privileges, all for our benefit, it reveals a depth of divine love for us that is utterly staggering. If that does not enhance one’s appreciation for his worth, nothing will.



Our hearts truly go out to those who labor under the burden of a diminished self-image. I am not suggesting that the healing of such will be easy or immediate. However, I confidently can offer the promise that the solution to such an impoverished disposition does lie with the pages of Holy Scripture. Pour over the Sacred Writings and imbibe the messages of joy and hope found therein. It can be a life-changing experience.


Arnold, Matthew. 1961. The Poetical Works of Matthew Arnold. London, England: Oxford University Press.
Barclay, William. 1959. The Letters to the Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians. Philadelphia, PA: Westminster.
Dehoff, George W. 1956. Why We Believe The Bible. Murfreesboro, TN: Dehoff Publications.
Marais, J. I. 1939. Anthropology. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. James Orr, ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.
Monk, Ray. 1996. Bertrand Russell—The Spirit of Solitude. New York, NY: The Free Press.
Morris, Desmond. 1967. The Naked Ape: A Zoologist’s Study of the Human Animal. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Orr, James. 1939. God, Image of. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. Vol. 2. James Orr, ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.
Russell, Bertrand. 1968. The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell. Boston, MA: Little, Brown.
Smith, Wilbur. 1945. Therefore Stand. Boston, MA: W. A. Wilde.
Theissen, Henry C. 1949. Introductory Lectures in Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.
Zacharias, Ravi. 1990. A Shattered Visage. Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt.


About the Author
Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.


“The Bible and Self-Esteem.” Christian Courier. <https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/42-bible-and-self-esteem-the&gt;.



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (as of 2014/03/20)
This article is about the psychological concept. For the music single from Offspring, see Self Esteem (song).

Self-esteem is a term used in psychology to reflect person‘s overall emotional evaluation of his or her own worth. It is a judgment of oneself as well as an attitude toward the self. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs (for example, “I am competent,” “I am worthy”) and emotions such as triumphdespairpride and shame.[1] Smith and Mackie define it by saying “The self-concept is what we think about the self; self-esteem, is the positive or negative evaluations of the self, as in how we feel about it.”[2]:107 Self-esteem is also known as the evaluative dimension of the self that includes feelings of worthiness, prides and discouragement.[3] One’s self-esteem is also closely associated with self-consciousness.[4]

Self-esteem is a disposition that a person has which represents their judgments of their own worthiness.[5] In the mid-1960s, Morris Rosenberg and social-learning theorists defined self-esteem as a personal worth or worthiness.[6] Nathaniel Branden in 1969 defined self-esteem as “the experience of being competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and being worthy of happiness.” According to Branden, self-esteem is the sum of self-confidence (a feeling of personal capacity) and self-respect (a feeling of personal worth). It exists as a consequence of the implicit judgment that every person has of their ability to face life’s challenges, to understand and solve problems, and their right to achieve happiness, and be given respect.[7]

As a social psychological construct, self-esteem is attractive because researchers have conceptualized it as an influential predictor of relevant outcomes, such as academic achievement[8] or exercise behavior (Hagger et al. 1998)[full citation needed]. In addition, self-esteem has also been treated as an important outcome due to its close relation with psychological well-being (Marsh 1989)[full citation needed]. Self-esteem can apply specifically to a particular dimension (for example, “I believe I am a good writer and I feel happy about that”) or a global extent (for example, “I believe I am a bad person, and feel bad about myself in general”). Psychologists usually regard self-esteem as an enduring personality characteristic (“trait” self-esteem), though normal, short-term variations (“state” self-esteem) also exist. Synonyms or near-synonyms of self-esteem include: self-worth,[9] self-regard,[10] self-respect,[11][12] and self-integrity.




Many early theories suggested that self-esteem is a basic human need or motivation. American psychologist Abraham Maslow included self-esteem in his hierarchy of needs. He described two different forms of esteem: the need for respect from others, and the need for self-respect, or inner self-esteem.[13] Respect from others entails recognition, acceptance, status, and appreciation, and was believed to be more fragile and easily lost than inner self-esteem. According to Maslow, without the fulfillment of the self-esteem need, individuals will be driven to seek it and unable to grow and obtain self-actualization.

Modern theories of self-esteem explore the reasons humans are motivated to maintain a high regard for themselves. Sociometer theory maintains that self-esteem evolved to check one’s level of status and acceptance in ones’ social group. According to terror management theory, self-esteem serves a protective function and reduces anxiety about life and death.[14]

The importance of self-esteem lies in the fact that it concerns to ourselves, the way we are and the sense of our personal value. Thus, it affects the way we are and act in the world and the way we are related to everybody else. Nothing in the way we think, feel, decide and act escapes the influence of self-esteem.[15]

Abraham Maslow, in his hierarchy of human needs, describes the “need for esteem,” which is divided into two aspects, the esteem for oneself self-love, self-confidence, skill, aptitude, and respect receives from other people recognition, success, etc. The healthiest expression of self-esteem, according to Maslow, “is the one which manifests in respect we deserve for others, more than renown, fame and flattery”.[16]

Carl Rogers, the greatest exponent of humanistic psychology, exposed that the origin of problems for many people despise themselves and they consider themselves to be unvaluable and unworthy of being loved; thus the importance he/she gave to unconditional acceptance of client.[15] Indeed, the concept of self-esteem is approached since then in humanistic psychology as an inalienable right for every person, summarized in the following sentence:

Every human being, with no exception, for the mere fact to be it, is worthy of unconditional respect of everybody else; he deserves to esteem himself and to be esteemed.[15]

By virtue of this reason, even the evil human beings deserve respect and considered treatment. This attitude, nonetheless, does not pretend to come into conflict with mechanisms that society has at its disposition to prevent individuals from causing hurt – of any type – to others.[15]


Experiences in a person’s life are a major source of self-esteem development. The positive or negative life experiences one has, creates attitudes toward the self which can be favourable and develop positive feelings of self-worth, or can be unfavourable and develop negative feelings of self-worth. In the early years of a child’s life, parents are the most significant influence on self-esteem and the main source of positive and/or negative experiences a child will have. The emphasis of unconditional love, in parenting how-to books, represents the importance of a child developing a stable sense of being cared for and respected. These feelings translate into later effects of self-esteem as the child grows older.[5]

During the school years, academic achievement is a significant contributor to self-esteem development. A student consistently achieving success or consistently failing, strongly affects their individual self-esteem.[17] Social experiences are another important contributor. As children go through school they begin to understand and recognize differences between themselves and their classmates. Using social comparisons, children assess whether they did better or worse than classmates in different activities. These comparisons play an important role in shaping the child’s self-esteem and influence the positive or negative feelings they have about themselves.[18][19] As children go through adolescence peer influence becomes much more important, as adolescents make appraisals of themselves based on their relationships with close friends.[20] Successful relationships among friends is very important to the development of high self-esteem for children. Social acceptance brings about confidence and produces high self-esteem, whereas rejection from peers and loneliness brings about self-doubts and produces low self-esteem.[21]

Parenting style can also play a crucial role in self-esteem development. Students in elementary school who have high self-esteem tend to have parents who are caring, supportive adults who set clear standards for their child and allow them to voice their opinion in decision making. Although studies thus far have reported only a correlation of warm, supportive parenting styles and children having high self-esteem it could easily be thought of as having some causal effect in self-esteem development.[22][23][24]

Childhood experiences that contribute to healthy self-esteem include being listened to, being spoken to respectfully, receiving appropriate attention and affection and having accomplishments recognized and mistakes or failures acknowledged and accepted. Experiences that contribute to low self-esteem include being harshly criticized, being physically, sexually or emotionally abused, being ignored, ridiculed or teased or being expected to be “perfect” all the time.[25]

Longitudinal study[edit]

A study done by Ruth Yasemin Erol and Ulrich Orth from the University of Basel examined the development of self-esteem in adolescence and young adulthood. The aim of the study was to determine the trajectory of self-esteem development; as in when does self-esteem development occur in life and in what direction. Another aspect of the study was to discover potential modifiers to individual differences in self-esteem development after recording trajectories. It was expected that self-esteem development would continuously increase during adolescence and young adulthood as per previous studies’ results.[26]

Erol and Orth found that self-esteem increases moderately through adolescence and continues to increase in young adulthood at a slower rate. A high sense of mastery, low risk taking and better overall health predicted higher self- esteem in participants at each age level. Emotionally stable, extroverted and conscientious participants experienced higher self-esteem as well. An individual’s sense of mastery proved to be an important moderator of self-esteem trajectory for all participants. In the case of ethnicity playing a role in self-esteem differences, Hispanics had a lower rating of self-esteem in adolescence than Blacks and Whites but then increased to having a stronger, higher self-esteem than Whites by the age of 30. This study showed no results depicting a significant difference between self-esteem trajectories of men and women. The findings of this research, in regards to self-esteem trajectory, is consistent with what is known about the life span development of self-esteem. Erol and Orth’s study documents the importance of adolescence as a possible critical period for self-esteem development. This studies results can lend itself to the implementation of self-esteem improvement interventions in young children.


Self-esteem requires “a self-evaluation process in which individuals compare their description of themselves as they are (Real Self) with their description of themselves as they would like to become (Ideal Self) and as they fear becoming (Dreaded Self).”[27] Self-esteem depends on living up to one’s ideals.

Self-evaluation is important because the subject is able to assess what they know, what they do not know and what they would like to know. They begin to recognize their own strengths and weaknesses, and will be able to set goals that they know they can attain with the new knowledge they have about themselves.[28]


There are four levels of self-evaluation development in relation to the Real Self, Ideal Self, and the Dreaded Self. The Real, Ideal, and Dreaded Selves develop in a sequential pattern on cognitive levels (moral judgment stages, ego development stages, and self-understanding).[27]

  1. Individuals describe their RealIdeal, and Dreaded Selves with stereotypical labels, such as “nice” or “bad”. Individuals describe their Ideal and Real Selvesin terms of disposition for action or as behavioural habits. The Dreaded Self is often described as being unsuccessful or as having bad habits
  2. Individuals describe their Ideal and Real Selves in terms of traits that are based in attitudes as well as actions. The Dreaded Self are often described as have failed to meet social expectations or as self-centered.
  3. Individuals describe their Ideal and Real Selves as having a unified identity or character. Descriptions of the Dreaded Self focus on a failure to live up to one’s ideals or role expectations often because of real world problems

Development brings with it increasingly complicated and encompassing moral demands. As individuals develop their depiction of their Dreaded Selves become increasingly more realistic and more plausible.



People with a healthy level of self-esteem:[29]

  • Firmly believe in certain values and principles, and are ready to defend them even when finding opposition, feeling secure enough to modify them in light of experience.[15]
  • Are able to act according to what they think to be the best choice, trusting their own judgment, and not feeling guilty when others do not like their choice.[15]
  • Do not lose time worrying excessively about what happened in the past, nor about what could happen in the future. They learn from the past and plan for the future, but live in the present intensely.[15]
  • Fully trust in their capacity to solve problems, not hesitating after failures and difficulties. They ask others for help when they need it.[15]
  • Consider themselves equal in dignity to others, rather than inferior or superior, while accepting differences in certain talents, personal prestige or financial standing.[15]
  • Take for granted that they are an interesting and valuable person for others, at least for those with whom they have a friendship.[15]
  • Resist manipulation, collaborate with others only if it seems appropriate and convenient.[15]
  • Admit and accept different internal feelings and drives, either positive or negative, revealing those drives to others only when they choose.[15]
  • Are able to enjoy a great variety of activities.[15]
  • Are sensitive to feelings and needs of others; respect generally accepted social rules, and claim no right or desire to prosper at others’ expense.[15]
  • Can work toward finding solutions and voice discontent without belittling themselves or others when challenges arise.[30]

Secure vs. defensive[edit]

A person can have a high self-esteem and hold it confidently where they do not need reassurance from others to maintain their positive self view, whereas others with defensive, high self-esteem may still report positive self-evaluations on the Rosenberg Scale, as all high self-esteem individuals do; however, their positive self-views are fragile and vulnerable to criticism. Defensive high self-esteem individuals internalize subconscious self-doubts and insecurities causing them to react very negatively to any criticism they may receive. There is a need for constant positive feedback from others for these individuals to maintain their feelings of self-worth. The necessity of repeated praise can be associated with boastful, arrogant behavior or sometimes even aggressive and hostile feelings toward anyone who questions the individual’s self-worth, an example of threatened egotism.[31][32]

Implicit, explicit, narcissism, and threatened egotism[edit]

Implicit self-esteem refers to a person’s disposition to evaluate themselves positively or negatively in a spontaneous, automatic, or unconscious manner. It contrasts with explicit self-esteem, which entails more conscious and reflective self-evaluation. Both explicit self-esteem and implicit self-esteem are subtypes of self-esteem proper.

Narcissism is a disposition people may have that represents an excessive love for one’s self. It is characterized by an inflated view of self-worth. Individuals who score high on Narcissism measures, Robert Raskin’s 40 Item True or False Test, would likely select true to such statements as “If I ruled the world, it would be a much better place.”[citation needed] There is only a moderate correlation between narcissism and self-esteem;[33] that is to say that an individual can have high self-esteem but low narcissism or can be a conceited, obnoxious person and score high self-esteem and high narcissism.[citation needed]

Threatened Egotism is characterized as a response to criticism that threatens the ego of narcissists; they often react in a hostile and aggressive manner.[6][34][35]

Low self-esteem[edit]

Low self-esteem can result from various factors, including genetic factors, physical appearance or weight, mental health issues, socioeconomic status, peer pressure or bullying.[36]

A person with low self-esteem may show some of the following characteristics:[37]

  • Heavy self-criticism and dissatisfaction.[15]
  • Hypersensitivity to criticism with resentment against critics and feelings of being attacked.[15]
  • Chronic indecision and an exaggerated fear of mistakes.[15]
  • Excessive will to please and unwillingness to displease any petitioner.[15]
  • Perfectionism, which can lead to frustration when perfection is not achieved.[15]
  • Neurotic guilt, dwelling on and/or exaggerating the magnitude of past mistakes.[15]
  • Floating hostility and general defensiveness and irritability without any proximate cause.[15]
  • Pessimism and a general negative outlook.[15]
  • Envy, invidiousness, or general resentment.[15]
  • Sees temporary setbacks as permanent, intolerable conditions.[30]

When given negative feedback, individuals with low self-esteem often take it personally, and can be devastated by it. This damage can be much more severe if the feedback is harsh or directly criticizes the individual’s worth, moral character, achievements, etc. Individuals with low self-esteem are very critical of themselves and depend on the approval and praise of others for their own evaluation of self-worthiness. They believe that a person’s approval of them is dependent on their performance, whether it be academic, relationship, etc. People with low self-esteem view their likeability in terms of successes: others will accept them if they succeed but will not if they fail.[38]


Self-esteem is typically assessed using a self-report inventory yielding a score on a continuous scale from low to high self-esteem.

Among the most widely used instruments, the Rosenberg (1965) 10-item self-esteem scale scores each item on a four-point response system that requires participants to indicate their level of agreement with a series of statements about themselves. An alternative measure, The Coopersmith Inventory uses a 50-question battery over a variety of topics and asks subjects whether they rate someone as similar or dissimilar to themselves.[39]

If a subject’s answers demonstrate solid self-regard, the scale regards them as well adjusted. If those answers reveal some inner shame, it considers them to be prone to social deviance.[40]

More recently,[when?] implicit measures of self-esteem have begun to be used. These rely on indirect measures of cognitive processing thought to be linked to implicit self-esteem, including the Name Letter Task[41] Such indirect measures are designed to reduce awareness of, or control of, the process of assessment. When used to assess implicit self-esteem, they feature stimuli designed to represent the self, such as personal pronouns (e.g., “I”) or characters in one’s name.[citation needed]


Abraham Maslow states that psychological health is not possible unless the essential core of the person is fundamentally accepted, loved and respected by others and by her or his self. Self-esteem allows people to face life with more confidence, benevolence and optimism, and thus easily reach their goals and self-actualize.[7] It allows a person to be more ambitious, but not with respect to possessions or success,[citation needed] but with respect to what they can experienceemotionallycreatively and spiritually.[citation needed]

To develop self-esteem is to increase the capacity to be happy;[citation needed] self-esteem may make people convinced they deserve happiness.[7] Understanding this is fundamental, and universally beneficial, since the development of positive self-esteem increases the capacity to treat other people with respect, benevolence and goodwill, thus favoring rich interpersonal relationships and avoiding destructive ones.[7] For Erich Frommlove of others and love of ourselves are not alternatives. On the contrary, an attitude of love toward themselves will be found in all those who are capable of loving others.Self-esteem allows creativity at the workplace, and is a specially critical condition for teaching professions.[42]

José-Vicente Bonet claims that the importance of self-esteem is obvious as a lack of self-esteem is, he says, not a loss of esteem from others, but self-rejection. Bonet claims that this corresponds to Major depressive disorder.[15] Freud also claimed that the depressive has suffered “an extraordinary diminution in his self-regard, an impoverishment of his ego on a grand scale….He has lost his self-respect”.[43]

The Yogyakarta Principles, a document on international human rights law addresses the discriminatory attitude toward LGBT peoples that makes their self-esteem low to be subject to human rights violation including human trafficking.[44] and World Health Organization recommends in “Preventing Suicide” published in 2000 that strengthening students’ self-esteem is important to protect children and adolescents against mental distress and despondency, enabling them to cope adequately with difficult and stressful life situations.[45] How this might be done, and whether it would be effective is unclear.

Other than increased happiness, higher self-esteem is also known to be correlated with a better ability to cope with stress and a higher likeliness that the individual takes on difficult tasks relative to those with low self-esteem.[4]


From the late 1970s to the early 1990s many Americans assumed as a matter of course that students’ self-esteem acted as a critical factor in the grades that they earn in school, in their relationships with their peers, and in their later success in life. Under this assumption, some American groups created programs which aimed to increase the self-esteem of students. Until the 1990s little peer-reviewed and controlled research took place on this topic.

Peer-reviewed research undertaken since then has not validated previous assumptions. Recent research indicates that inflating students’ self-esteem in and of itself has no positive effect on grades. One study has shown that inflating self-esteem by itself can actually decrease grades.[46] The relationship involving self-esteem and academic results does not signify that high self-esteem contributes to high academic results. It simply means that high self-esteem may be accomplished due to high academic performance due to the other variables of social interactions and life events affecting this performance.[47]

“Attempts by pro-esteem advocates to encourage self-pride in students solely by reason of their uniqueness as human beings will fail if feelings of well-being are not accompanied by well-doing. It is only when students engage in personally meaningful endeavors for which they can be justifiably proud that self-confidence grows, and it is this growing self-assurance that in turn triggers further achievement.”[48]

High self-esteem correlates highly with self-reported happiness; whether this is a causal relationship has not been established.[47] The relationship between self-esteem and life satisfaction is stronger in individualistic cultures.[49]

Additionally, self-esteem has been found to be related to forgiveness in close relationships, in that people with high self-esteem will be more forgiving than people with low self-esteem.[50]

People with high self-esteem are more likely to minimize the consequences of risky behavior rationalizing risky behavior convincing themselves that the behavior will not cause harm to themselves or others. This may contribute to behaviors like drinking, taking drugs and engaging in early sexual intercourse as well as other risk taking behaviors.[51]

Criticism and controversy[edit]

The American psychologist Albert Ellis criticized on numerous occasions the concept of self-esteem as essentially self-defeating and ultimately destructive.[52]Although acknowledging the human propensity and tendency to ego rating as innate, he has critiqued the philosophy of self-esteem as unrealistic, illogical and self- and socially destructive – often doing more harm than good. Questioning the foundations and usefulness of generalized ego strength, he has claimed that self-esteem is based on arbitrary definitional premises, and over-generalized, perfectionistic and grandiose thinking.[52] Acknowledging that rating and valuing behaviours and characteristics is functional and even necessary, he sees rating and valuing human beings’ totality and total selves as irrational and unethical. The healthier alternative to self-esteem according to him is unconditional self-acceptance and unconditional other-acceptance.[53] Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy is a psychotherapy based on this approach.[54]

Psychologist Roy F. Baumeister and journalist John Tierney argue that the benefits of self-esteem can be significantly counter-productive, and that parental guidance towards self-esteem may thwart actual practices of self-control.

“There seem to be only two clearly demonstrated benefits of high self-esteem….First, it increases initiative, probably because it lends confidence. People with high self-esteem are more willing to act on their beliefs, to stand up for what they believe in, to approach others, to risk new undertakings. (This unfortunately includes being extra willing to do stupid or destructive things, even when everyone else advises against them.)…It can also lead people to ignore sensible advice as they stubbornly keep wasting time and money on hopeless causes”[55]

False stereotypes[edit]

For a person with low self-esteem any positive stimulus or incentive will make him feel comfortable, or, at most, better with respect to himself/herself for just some time. Therefore, possessions, sex, success, or physical appearance, by themselves, will produce comfort, or a false and ephemeral development of self-esteem, but they will not really strengthen confidence and respect to oneself.[7]

As narcissism[edit]

Life satisfaction, happiness, healthy behavioral practices, perceived efficacy, and academic success and adjustment have been associated with having high levels of self-esteem (Harter, 1987; Huebner, 1991; Lipschitz-Elhawi & Itzhaky, 2005; Rumberger 1995; Swenson & Prelow, 2005; Yarcheski & Mahon, 1989).[56]:270However, a common mistake is to think that loving oneself is necessarily equivalent to narcissism, as opposed for example to what Erik Erikson speaks of as “a post-narcissistic love of the ego”.[57] A person with a healthy self-esteem accepts and loves himself/herself unconditionally, acknowledging both virtues and faults in the self, and yet, in spite of everything, is able to continue to love her/himself.

In Narcissists, by contrast, an “innate uncertainty about their own worth gives rise to…a self-protective, but often totally spurious, aura of grandiosity[58] – producing the class “of narcissists, or people with very high, but insecure, self-esteem… fluctuating with each new episode of social praise or rejection.”[2]:479 Narcissism can thus be seen as a symptom of fundamentally low self-esteem, that is, lack of love towards oneself, but often accompanied by “an immense increase in self-esteem” based on “the defense mechanism of denial by overcompensation.”[59] “idealized love of self…rejected the part of him” that he denigrates – “this destructive little child”[60] within. Instead, the narcissist emphasizes his virtues in the presence of others, just to try to convince himself that he is a valuable person and to try to stop feeling ashamed for his faults;[15] unfortunately such “people with unrealistically inflated self-views, which may be especially unstable and highly vulnerable to negative information,…tend to have poor social skills.”[2]:126


The construct of self-esteem (or self-concept) dates back to William James, in the late 19th century. In his work Principles of Psychology (1890), James studied the splitting of our “global self” into “knower self” and “known self.” According to James, from this splitting, which we all are more or less aware of, self-esteem is born.[15]

In the 20th century, the initial influence of Behaviorism minimized introspective study of mental processesemotions and feelings, which was replaced by objective study through experiments on behaviors observed in relation with environment. Behaviorism placed the human being as an animal subject to reinforcements, and suggested placing psychology as an experimental science, similar to chemistry or biology. As a consequence, clinical trials on self-esteem were overlooked, since behaviorists considered the idea less liable to rigorous measurement hypothesis.[15]

In the mid-20th century, Phenomenology and humanistic psychotherapy made self-esteem gain prominence again, and it took a central role in personal self-actualization and in the treatment of psychic disorders. Psychologists started to consider personal satisfaction and psychotherapy, and new elements were introduced, which helped to understand the reasons why people tend to feel less worthy, discouraged and unable to understand challenges by themselves.[15]

Carl Rogers (1902–1987), the greatest exponent of humanistic psychology, exposed his theory about unconditional acceptance and self-acceptance as the best way to improve self-esteem.[15] Robert B. Burns regards self-esteem as a collection of an individual’s attitudes toward himself. The human being perceives itself at asensory level; thinks about itself and about its behavior, and evaluates both its behavior and itself. Consequently, humans feel emotions related to themselves. These emotions prompt behavioral tendencies aimed at oneself, at one’s behavior, and at the features of one’s body and character. These tendencies effect the attitudes which, globally, we call self-esteem. Thus, self-esteem, for Burns, is the evaluative perception of oneself. In his own words, an “individual’s behavior is the result of his environment’s particular interpretation, whose focus is himself”.[15]

The core self-evaluations approach includes self-esteem as one of four dimensions that comprise one’s fundamental appraisal of oneself, along with locus of controlneuroticism, and self-efficacy.[61] The concept of core self-evaluations as first examined by Judge, Locke, and Durham (1997),[61] has since proven to have the ability to predict several work outcomes, specifically, job satisfaction and job performance.[61][62][63][64][65] Self-esteem may, in fact, be one of the most essential core self-evaluation dimensions because it is the overall value one feels about oneself as a person.[64]

The idea of the importance of self-esteem—especially in education—has gained endorsement from some government and non-government groups, such that one can speak of a self-esteem movement.[66]

See also[edit]


  1. Jump up^ Hewitt, John P. (2009). Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology. Oxford University Press. pp. 217–224. ISBN 978-0-19-518724-3.
  2. Jump up to:a b c Smith, E. R.; Mackie, D. M. (2007). Social Psychology (Third ed.). Hove: Psychology Press. ISBN 978-1-84169-408-5.
  3. Jump up^ Newman, Barbara M.; Newman, Philip R. (1975). Development Through Life: A Psychosocial Approach. Homewood, IL: Dorsey. ISBN 0-256-01737-9.
  4. Jump up to:a b Schacter, Daniel L.; Gilbert, Daniel T.; Wegner, Daniel M. (2009). “Self Esteem”. Psychology (Second ed.). New York: Worth. ISBN 978-0-7167-5215-8.
  5. Jump up to:a b Olsen, J. M.; Breckler, S. J.; Wiggins, E. C. (2008). Social Psychology Alive (First Canadian ed.). Toronto: Thomson Nelson.ISBN 978-0-17-622452-3.
  6. Jump up to:a b Baumeister, Roy F.; Smart, L.; Boden, J. (1996). “Relation of threatened egotism to violence and aggression: The dark side of self-esteem”. Psychological Review 103 (1): 5–33. doi:10.1037/0033-295X.103.1.5PMID 8650299.
  7. Jump up to:a b c d e Nathaniel Branden. Cómo mejorar su autoestima. 1987. Versión traducida: 1990. 1ª edición en formato electrónico: enero de 2010. Ediciones Paidós Ibérica. ISBN 978-84-493-2347-8.
  8. Jump up^ Marsh, H.W. (1990). “Causal ordering of academic self-concept and academic achievement: A multiwave, longitudinal path analysis.”. Journal of Educational Psychology 82 (4): 646–656.
  9. Jump up^ Defined as “self-esteem; self-respect” in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition, 2000. Online athttp://www.bartleby.com/61/58/S0245800.html. Retrieved 15 November 2007.
  10. Jump up^ Defined as “consideration of oneself or one’s interests; self-respect” inThe American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition, 2000. Online at http://www.bartleby.com/61/18/S0241800.html. Retrieved 15 November 2007.
  11. Jump up^ Defined as “due respect for oneself, one’s character, and one’s conduct” in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition, 2000. Online athttp://www.bartleby.com/61/23/S0242300.html. Retrieved 15 November 2007.
  12. Jump up^ The Macquarie Dictionary. Compare The Dictionary of Psychology by Raymond Joseph Corsini. Psychology Press, 1999. ISBN 1-58391-028-X. Online via Google Book Search.
  13. Jump up^ Maslow, A. H. (1987). Motivation and Personality (Third ed.). New York: Harper & Row. ISBN 0-06-041987-3.
  14. Jump up^ Greenberg, J. (2008). “Understanding the vital human quest for self-esteem”. Perspectives on Psychological Science 3 (1): 48–55.doi:10.1111/j.1745-6916.2008.00061.x.
  15. Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad José-Vicente Bonet. Sé amigo de ti mismo: manual de autoestima. 1997. Ed. Sal Terrae. Maliaño (Cantabria, España). ISBN 978-84-293-1133-4.
  16. Jump up^ Cheroky Mena Covarrubias. «Una óptica humanista y conductista de la sustentabilidad».
  17. Jump up^ Crocker, J.; Sommers, S. R.; Luhtanen, R. K. (2002). “Hopes Dashed and Dreams Fulfilled: Contingencies of Self-Worth and Graduate School Admissions”. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 28 (9): 1275–1286. doi:10.1177/01461672022812012.
  18. Jump up^ Butler, R. (1998). “Age Trends in the Use of Social and Temporal Comparison for Self-Evaluation: Examination of a Novel Developmental Hypothesis”. Child Development 69 (4): 1054–1073. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.1998.tb06160.x.
  19. Jump up^ Pomerantz, E. M.; Ruble, D. N.; Frey, K. S.; Grenlich, F. (1995). Meeting Goals and Confronting Conflict: Children’s Changing Perceptions of Social Comparison 66 (3). pp. 723–738. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.1995.tb00901.x.
  20. Jump up^ Thorne, A.; Michaelieu, Q. (1996). “Situating Adolescent Gender and Self-Esteem with Personal Memories”. Child Development 67 (4): 1374–1390. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.1996.tb01802.x.
  21. Jump up^ Leary, M. R.; Baumeister, R. F. (2000). “The Nature and Function of Self-Esteem: Sociometer Theory”. In Zanna, M. P. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology 32. San Diego, CA: Academic Press. pp. 1–62. ISBN 0-12-015232-0.
  22. Jump up^ Coopersmith, S. (1967). The Antecedents of Self-Esteem. New York: W. H. Freeman.
  23. Jump up^ Isberg, R. S.; Hauser, S. T.; Jacobson, A. M.; Powers, S. I.; Noam, G.; Weiss-Perry, B.; Fullansbee, D. (1989). “Parental contexts of adolescent self-esteem: A developmental perspective”. Journal of Youth and Adolescence 18 (1): 1–23. doi:10.1007/BF02139243.
  24. Jump up^ Lamborn, S. D.; Mounts (1991). “Patterns of Competence and Adjustment among Adolescents from Authoritative, Authoritarian, Indulgent, and Neglectful Families”. Child Development 62 (5): 1049–1065. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.1991.tb01588.x.
  25. Jump up^ “Self-Esteem.” Self-Esteem. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2012.
  26. Jump up^ Erol, R. Y.; Orth, U. (2011). “Self-Esteem Development From Age 14 to 30 Years: A Longitudinal Study”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 101 (3): 607–619. doi:10.1037/a0024299.
  27. Jump up to:a b Power, F. Clark; Khmelkov, Vladimir T. “Character development and self-esteem: Psychological foundations and educational implications”.International Journal of Educational Research 27 (7): 539–551.doi:10.1016/S0883-0355(97)00053-0.
  28. Jump up^ “Self-Evaluation.” Self-Evaluation. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2012. <http://www.ndt-ed.org/TeachingResources/ClassroomTips/Self-evaluation.htm>.
  29. Jump up^ Adapted from Hamachek, D. E. (1971). Encounters with the Self. New York: Rinehart.
  30. Jump up to:a b “KidsHealth.” Developing Your Child’s Self-Esteem. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2012. <http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/feelings/self_esteem.html>.
  31. Jump up^ Jordan, C. H.; Spencer, S. J.; Zanna, M. P. (2003). “‘I love me…I love me not’: Implicit self-esteem, explicit self-esteem and defensiveness”. In Spencer, S. J.; Fein, S.; Zanna, M. P. et al. Motivated social perception: The Ontario symposium 9. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. pp. 117–145. ISBN 0-8058-4036-2.
  32. Jump up^ Jordan, C. H.; Spencer, S. J.; Zanna, M. P.; Hoshino-Browne, E.; Correll, J. (2003). “Secure and defensive high self-esteem”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 85 (5): 969–978. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.85.5.969.
  33. Jump up^ Sedikieds, C.; Rudich, E. A.; Gregg, A. P.; Kumashiro, M.; Rusbult, C. (2004). “Are normal narcissists psychologically healthy? Self-esteem matters”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 87 (3): 400–416.doi:10.1037/0022-3514.87.3.400.
  34. Jump up^ Morf, C. C.; Rhodewalk, F. (1993). “Narcissism and self-evaluation maintenance: Explorations in object relations”. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 19 (6): 668–676. doi:10.1177/0146167293196001.
  35. Jump up^ Twenge, J. M.; Campbell, W. K. (2003). “‘Isn’t it fun to get the respect we’re going to deserve?’ Narcissism, social rejection, and aggression”.Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 29 (2): 261–272.doi:10.1177/0146167202239051.
  36. Jump up^ Jones FC (2003). “Low self esteem”. Chicago Defender. p. 33.ISSN 0745-7014.
  37. Jump up^ Adapted from J. Gill, “Indispensable Self-Esteem,” in Human Development, vol. 1, 1980.
  38. Jump up^ Baldwin, M. W.; Sinclair, L. (1996). “Self-esteem and ‘if…then’ contingencies of interpersonal acceptance”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 71 (6): 1130–1141. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.71.6.1130.
  39. Jump up^ From the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Research Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health from the University of California, San Francisco. Online athttp://www.macses.ucsf.edu/Research/Psychosocial/selfesteem.php#measurement. Retrieved 25 February 2008.
  40. Jump up^ Slater, Lauren (3 Feb 2002). “The Trouble With Self-Esteem”The New York Times. Retrieved 27 Nov 2012.
  41. Jump up^ Koole, S. L., & Pelham, B. W. (2003). On the nature of implicit self-esteem: The case of the name letter effect. In S. Spencer, S. Fein, & M. P. Zanna (Eds.), Motivated social perception: The Ontario Symposium (pp. 93–116). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  42. Jump up^ Christian Miranda. La autoestima profesional: una competencia mediadora para la innovación en las prácticas pedagógicas. Revista Iberoamericana sobre Calidad, Eficacia y Cambio en Educación. 2005. Volume 3, number 1. PDF format.
  43. Jump up^ Sigmund Freud, On Metapsychology (PFL 11) p. 254-6
  44. Jump up^ The Yogyakarta Principles, Preamble and Principles 11
  45. Jump up^ Preventing Suicide, A resource for teachers and other school staff, WHO, Geneva, 2000
  46. Jump up^ Baumeister, Roy F.; Jennifer D. Campbell, Joachim I. Krueger and Kathleen D. Vohs (January 2005). “Exploding the Self-Esteem Myth”.Scientific American. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  47. Jump up to:a b Baumeister, R. F.; Campbell, J. D.; Krueger, J. I.; Vohs, K. D. (2003). “Does High Self-Esteem Cause Better Performance, Interpersonal Success, Happiness, or Healthier Lifestyles?”. Psychological Science in the Public Interest 4 (1): 1–44. doi:10.1111/1529-1006.01431.ISSN 1529-1006.
  48. Jump up^ Reasoner, Robert W. (n.d.). “research.htm Extending self-esteem theory and research.” Retrieved February 20, 2011.
  49. Jump up^ Ulrich Schimmack and Ed Diener (2003). “Predictive validity of explicit and implicit self-esteem for subjective well-being”Journal of Research in Personality 37: 100–106. doi:10.1016/S0092-6566(02)00532-9.
  50. Jump up^ Eaton, J; Wardstruthers, C; Santelli, A (2006). “Dispositional and state forgiveness: The role of self-esteem, need for structure, and narcissism”.Personality and Individual Differences 41 (2): 371–380.doi:10.1016/j.paid.2006.02.005ISSN 0191-8869.
  52. Jump up to:a b Ellis, A. (2001). Feeling better, getting better, staying better. Impact Publishers
  53. Jump up^ Ellis, A. (2005). The Myth of Self-esteem. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books. ISBN 1-59102-354-8.
  54. Jump up^ Albert Ellis, Windy Dryden. The Practice of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.
  55. Jump up^ Baumeister; Tierney (2011). Willpower: The Greatest’s Human Strength. p. 192.
  56. Jump up^ Michaels, M.; Barr, A.; Roosa, M.; Knight, G. (2007). “Self-Esteem: Assessing Measurement Equivalence in a Multiethnic Sample of Youth”.Journal of Early Adolescence 27 (3): 269–295.doi:10.1177/0272431607302009.
  57. Jump up^ Erikson, Erik H. (1973). Childhood and Society. Harmondsworth: Penguin. p. 260. ISBN 0-14-020754-6.
  58. Jump up^ Crompton, Simon (2007). All about Me. London: Collins. p. 16.ISBN 978-0-00-724795-0.
  59. Jump up^ Fenichel, Otto (1946). The Psychoanalytic Theory of Neurosis. London. pp. 407–410.
  60. Jump up^ Symington, Neville (2003). Narcissism: A New Theory. London: Karmac. p. 114. ISBN 1-85575-047-3.
  61. Jump up to:a b c Judge, T. A.; Locke, E. A.; Durham, C. C. (1997). “The dispositional causes of job satisfaction: A core evaluations approach”.Research in Organizational Behavior 19: 151–188.
  62. Jump up^ Bono, J. E.; Judge, T. A. (2003). “Core self-evaluations: A review of the trait and its role in job satisfaction and job performance”. European Journal of Personality 17 (Suppl1): S5–S18. doi:10.1002/per.48.
  63. Jump up^ Dormann, C.; Fay, D.; Zapf, D.; Frese, M. (2006). “A state-trait analysis of job satisfaction: On the effect of core self-evaluations”. Applied Psychology: An International Review 55 (1): 27–51. doi:10.1111/j.1464-0597.2006.00227.x.
  64. Jump up to:a b Judge, T. A.; Locke, E. A.; Durham, C. C.; Kluger, A. N. (1998). “Dispositional effects on job and life satisfaction: The role of core evaluations”. Journal of Applied Psychology 83 (1): 17–34.doi:10.1037/0021-9010.83.1.17.
  65. Jump up^ Judge, T. A.; Bono, J. E. (2001). “Relationship of core self-evaluations traits—self-esteem, generalized self-efficacy, locus of control, and emotional stability—with job satisfaction and job performance: A meta-analysis”. Journal of Applied Psychology 86 (1): 80–92.doi:10.1037/0021-9010.86.1.80.
  66. Jump up^ Nolan, James L. (1998). The Therapeutic State: Justifying Government at Century’s End. NYU Press. pp. 152–161. ISBN 9780814757918. Retrieved 2013-05-06.

Further reading[edit]

  • Baumeister, Roy F. (2001). “Violent Pride: Do people turn violent because of self-hate or self-love?,” in Scientific American284, No. 4, pages 96–101; April 2001.
  • Branden, N. (1969). The Psychology of Self-Esteem. New York: Bantam.
  • Branden, N. (2001). The psychology of self-esteem: a revolutionary approach to self-understanding that launched a new era in modern psychology. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2001. ISBN 0-7879-4526-9
  • Burke, C. (2008)”Self-esteem: Why?; Why not?,” N.Y. 2008 [1]
  • Crocker, J., & Park, L. E. (2004). “The costly pursuit of self-esteem.” Psychological Bulletin, 130(3), 392–414.
  • Franklin, Richard L. (1994). “Overcoming The Myth of Self-Worth: Reason and Fallacy in What You Say to Yourself.” ISBN 0-9639387-0-3
  • Hill, S.E. & Buss, D.M. (2006). “The Evolution of Self-Esteem.” In Michael Kernis, (Ed.), Self Esteem: Issues and Answers: A Sourcebook of Current Perspectives.. Psychology Press:New York. 328–333. Full text
  • Lerner, Barbara (1985). “Self-Esteem and Excellence: The Choice and the Paradox,” American Educator, Winter 1985.
  • Mecca, Andrew M., et al., (1989). The Social Importance of Self-esteem University of California Press, 1989. (ed; other editors included Neil J. Smelser andJohn Vasconcellos)
  • Mruk, C. (2006). Self-Esteem research, theory, and practice: Toward a positive psychology of self-esteem (3rd ed.). New York: Springer.
  • Rodewalt, F. & Tragakis, M. W. (2003). “Self-esteem and self-regulation: Toward optimal studies of self-esteem.” Psychological Inquiry, 14(1), 66–70.
  • Ruggiero, Vincent R. (2000). “Bad Attitude: Confronting the Views That Hinder Student’s Learning” American Educator.
  • Sedikides, C., & Gregg. A. P. (2003). “Portraits of the self.” In M. A. Hogg & J. Cooper (Eds.), Sage handbook of social psychology (pp. 110–138). London: Sage Publications.
  • Twenge, Jean M. (2007). Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled — and More Miserable Than Ever Before. Free Press. ISBN 978-0-7432-7698-6