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Mind

"Counterintuitive" social science finding of the day

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanApril 2, 2010 10:16 AM

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Quotes because you might not find it counterintuitive, Self-Esteem Development From Young Adulthood to Old Age: A Cohort-Sequential Longitudinal Study:

The authors examined the development of self-esteem from young adulthood to old age. Data came from the Americans’ Changing Lives study, which includes 4 assessments across a 16-year period of a nationally representative sample of 3,617 individuals aged 25 years to 104 years. Latent growth curve analyses indicated that self-esteem follows a quadratic trajectory across the adult life span, increasing during young and middle adulthood, reaching a peak at about age 60 years, and then declining in old age. No cohort differences in the self-esteem trajectory were found. Women had lower self-esteem than did men in young adulthood, but their trajectories converged in old age. Whites and Blacks had similar trajectories in young and middle adulthood, but the self-esteem of Blacks declined more sharply in old age than did the self-esteem of Whites. More educated individuals had higher self-esteem than did less educated individuals, but their trajectories were similar. Moreover, the results suggested that changes in socioeconomic status and physical health account for the decline in self-esteem that occurs in old age

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As a person well under 60 but slowing walking in that direction I'm pretty heartened by this. On the other hand, I'm one o those people who also tend to think that "self-esteem" is a bit overrated, so I'm not that heartened. Via Randall Parker

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