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Self-Esteem pp 167-182 | Cite as

The Roles of Stability and Level of Self-Esteem in Psychological Functioning

  • Michael H. Kernis
Part of the The Plenum Series in Social / Clinical Psychology book series (SSSC)

Abstract

During the past 30 years, a considerable amount of research has been conducted to examine the role of self-esteem in individuals’ thoughts, feelings, and actions. For the most part, this research has been directed toward the examination of level of self-esteem as the critical aspect of self-esteem. Some researchers, however, have begun to focus on such other aspects as certainty and stability of self-esteem (e.g., Baumgardner, 1990; Harris & Snyder, 1985; Maracek & Mettee, 1972; Rosenberg, 1986; Savin-Williams & Demo, 1983). In this chapter, I summarize the recent efforts of myself and colleagues to understand the role of stability of self- esteem (in combination with its level) in psychological functioning. I will begin by describing briefly the nature of stability of self-esteem and its assessment. Then I present a theoretical framework for understanding the joint influences of stability and level of self-esteem on people’s reactions to evaluative events. Following this, research that bears on this framework will be described. As will be shown, important individual differences would have been obscured if both stability and level of self-esteem had not been taken into consideration. I conclude by focusing on some issues of validity related to the assessment and conceptualization of stability of self-esteem.

Keywords

Psychological Functioning Experimental Social Psychology Mood Variability Anger Arousal Strong Inverse Relation 
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 Press, New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael H. Kernis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology and Institute for Behavioral ResearchUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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