Research Publication Title

Determinants of Self-Esteem

Presenter Information

Noah MacDonaldFollow

Major

Economics

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Jebessa Mijena

Keywords

self-esteem; determinants; confidence; relationships; linear regression

Abstract

Economists have recently noted that high self-esteem has a positive impact on earnings (Drago, 2011). Therefore, the factors that contribute to self-esteem across different groups may have large economic consequences. Using individual-level survey data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, I estimate the impact of several potential self-esteem determinants using multiple linear regression in R. I find that how someone perceives their decision making ability, level of social acceptance, relationships, qualities, and accomplishments greatly affects self-esteem. I note that for several determinants, a perceived lack has a greater effect than a perceived abundance. For example, those who strongly agree that they feel loved and wanted rate their self-esteem approximately 0.12 points higher on a scale from 1-5 compared to individuals who neither agree nor disagree to the same statement. However, those who strongly disagree rate their self-esteem approximately 1.04 points lower than the baseline group. This pattern is also exhibited for one’s decision making ability and level of social acceptance, but not for one’s qualities and accomplishments.

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Determinants of Self-Esteem

Economists have recently noted that high self-esteem has a positive impact on earnings (Drago, 2011). Therefore, the factors that contribute to self-esteem across different groups may have large economic consequences. Using individual-level survey data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, I estimate the impact of several potential self-esteem determinants using multiple linear regression in R. I find that how someone perceives their decision making ability, level of social acceptance, relationships, qualities, and accomplishments greatly affects self-esteem. I note that for several determinants, a perceived lack has a greater effect than a perceived abundance. For example, those who strongly agree that they feel loved and wanted rate their self-esteem approximately 0.12 points higher on a scale from 1-5 compared to individuals who neither agree nor disagree to the same statement. However, those who strongly disagree rate their self-esteem approximately 1.04 points lower than the baseline group. This pattern is also exhibited for one’s decision making ability and level of social acceptance, but not for one’s qualities and accomplishments.

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