Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 367–385

Self-criticism at age 12: A longitudinal study of adjustment


  • David C. Zuroff
    • Psychology DepartmentMcGill University
  • Richard Koestner
    • Psychology DepartmentMcGill University
  • Theodore A. Powers
    • Havard University Medical School

DOI: 10.1007/BF02357511

Cite this article as:
Zuroff, D.C., Koestner, R. & Powers, T.A. Cogn Ther Res (1994) 18: 367. doi:10.1007/BF02357511


This study employed a prospective longitudinal design to investigate the relation between self-criticism at age 12 and later adjustment. Archival data were available for subjects in the Sears, Maccoby, and Levin (1957) study. Self-criticism at age 12 predicted involvement in fewer high school activities and, at age 31, fewer years of education completed, lower occupational status in men, dissatisfaction with primary relationship (p=.10), dissatisfaction with being a parent, and personal/social maladjustment. However, self-critics were not less likely to marry nor did they marry later or have fewer children. The results were largely consistent with Blatt's lifespan development perspective on self-criticism. Possible processes linking self-criticism in early adolescence to later life outcomes are discussed.

Key Words

Self-criticismachievementadjustmentlifespan development

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994