A Longitudinal Study of Self-Esteem: Implications for Adolescent Development
- Cite this article as:
- Zimmerman, M.A., Copeland, L.A., Shope, J.T. et al. Journal of Youth and Adolescence (1997) 26: 117. doi:10.1023/A:1024596313925
- 1.8k Downloads
This study used a cluster analytic approach to identify self-esteem trajectories among adolescents over a four-year period from sixth to tenth grades (N = 1,160). Four self-esteem trajectories were identified that replicated previous research: (1) consistently high, (2) moderate and rising, (3) steadily decreasing, and (4) consistently low. Female adolescents were more likely to be in the steadily decreasing self-esteem group while male adolescents were more likely to be in the moderate and rising group. African American and white youth were equally distributed across groups. Using repeated measures analysis, we found that youth with consistently high and moderate and rising self-esteem reported developmentally healthier outcomes in Grade 10 than youth in the other two clusters. Outcomes included susceptibility to peer pressure, school grades, and alcohol use. Implications of these results for studying self-esteem and developmental change more generally are discussed.