Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 117–141 | Cite as

A Longitudinal Study of Self-Esteem: Implications for Adolescent Development

  • Marc A. Zimmerman
  • Laurel A. Copeland
  • Jean T. Shope
  • T. E. Dielman


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.


Alcohol Longitudinal Study Repeated Measure Analytic Approach Measure Analysis 
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 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc A. Zimmerman
    • 1
  • Laurel A. Copeland
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jean T. Shope
    • 4
  • T. E. Dielman
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public HealthUniversity of MichiganAnn Arbor
  2. 2.Health Services Research and DevelopmentVeterans Affairs Medical CenterAnn Arbor
  3. 3.Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public HealthUniversity of MichiganUSA
  4. 4.University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and the School of Public Health Department of Health Behavior and Health EducationUSA
  5. 5.Department of Postgraduate Medicine and Health Professions EducationUniversity of MichiganUSA

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