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Global Self-Esteem and Specific Self-Esteem: Different Concepts, Different Outcomes

Morris Rosenberg, Carmi Schooler, Carrie Schoenbach and Florence Rosenberg
American Sociological Review
Vol. 60, No. 1 (Feb., 1995), pp. 141-156
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2096350
Page Count: 16
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Abstract

In this paper, we attempt to shed light on the nature of, relevance of, and relationship between global self-esteem and specific self-esteem. We marshal evidence that the two types of self-esteem may have strikingly different consequences, global self-esteem being more relevant to psychological well-being, and specific self-esteem being more relevant to behavior. We use linear structural equation causal modeling to test this hypothesis for the case of global self-esteem (Rosenberg 1979) and specific (academic) self-esteem. Our findings show that, while global self-esteem is more strongly related to measures of psychological well-being, specific (academic) self-esteem is a much better predictor of school performance. Other findings indicate that the degree to which specific academic self-esteem affects global self-esteem, particularly the positive component of global self-esteem, is a function of how highly academic performance is personally valued.

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