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High Self-Esteem: Multiple Forms and Their Outcomes

Abstract

Self-esteem has been empirically investigated extensively and has become deeply ingrained in the social and popular conscience. Varied definitions of self-esteem across disciplines and perspectives and inconsistent empirical findings with self-esteem have yielded a messy research literature and have produced many lingering questions. In this chapter, we briefly review the “mess” of self-esteem, first focusing on its inconsistent empirical findings. Then, we propose a differentiated view of high self-esteem as being either fragile or secure, and how this differentiated view can help “clear the waters” of self-esteem research. Next, we highlight self-esteem’s importance in personal and cultural identity processes, examining in particular potential cultural changes influenced by the concept of high self-esteem. Finally, we discuss where self-esteem comes from and how we can cultivate “healthy” self-esteem, and we discuss two individual difference measures—authenticity and mindfulness—that relate to secure self-esteem processes.

Keywords

  • Attachment Anxiety
  • Dispositional Mindfulness
  • Identity Motive
  • Unbiased Processing
  • Dispositional Authenticity

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.

†Michael H. Kernis passed away during the formulation of this chapter. He is included as an author to acknowledge his immense influence on what was written, as well as to honor his memory and his passion for self-esteem research.

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Fig. 15.1
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Correspondence to Whitney L. Heppner Ph.D. .

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Heppner, W.L., Kernis†, M.H. (2011). High Self-Esteem: Multiple Forms and Their Outcomes. In: Schwartz, S., Luyckx, K., Vignoles, V. (eds) Handbook of Identity Theory and Research. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-7988-9_15

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