Sex Roles

, Volume 51, Issue 1, pp 45-54

First online:

Self-Esteem and Body Satisfaction in Male and Female Elementary School, High School, and University Students

  • Jackie FrostAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Bishop's University
  • , Stuart McKelvieAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Bishop's University Email author 

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A total of 227 male and female elementary school, high school, and university students completed questionnaires concerning self-esteem, body satisfaction, and body build. Self-esteem was lower for female students than for male students overall, and for high school than for elementary school or university students. It was positively correlated with body satisfaction (cathexis, body image, weight satisfaction), but the regression analysis only predicted self-esteem by cathexis. The gender difference in self-esteem, and the relationship between self-esteem and cathexis, may develop as early as elementary school. Suggestions for future research are given.

self-esteem body satisfaction gender differences age differences