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Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 10, Issue 6, pp 473–485 | Cite as

Biological and ecological factors in the expression of adolescent self-esteem

  • Gail A. Jaquish
  • Ritch C. Savin-Williams
Article

Abstract

The relationship between self-esteem and pubertal maturation is examined based on results of the first two years of a six-year naturalistic longitudinal study of the ecology of self-esteem during adolescence. A random sample of 40 seventh-grade adolescents of both sexes from all socioeconomic classes was selected from a local junior high school. Four measures of pubertal maturation level were obtained for participants during each year of the study. Self-esteem was assessed by means of a repeated measures self-report technique. Each adolescent carried a “beeper” paging device and responded in writing to “beeps” that occurred on a random schedule eight times daily. Males were significantly higher in self-esteem than females. The developmental pattern for the relationship between self-esteem and pubertal maturation differed between boys and girls. Three ecological contextual variables were explored: setting, activity, and participants. Physical setting was significantly associated with level of self-esteem. Activities and participants present were not significantly predictive of self-esteem. Results are discussed in terms of the onset and timing of pubertal maturation and its influence on self-esteem.

Keywords

High School Longitudinal Study Random Sample Repeated Measure Health Psychology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gail A. Jaquish
  • Ritch C. Savin-Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Martha Van Rensselaer HallCornell UniversityIthaca

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