Self-esteem in early adolescence: From stock character to marquee attraction

David L. DuBois*, Barton J Hirsch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Self-esteem has been included frequently in theory and research on early adolescence; this consideration, however, has lacked depth and complexity. Most investigations have presented the self-esteem of young adolescents as global and undifferentiated, and as having linkages with their development that are unidirectional, independent of other sources of influence, and uniformly positive with regard to implications for adjustment. By contrast, there is a growing literature to support a view of early adolescent self-esteem as multidimensional in structure, influenced by a complex, interdependent array of individual and contextual factors, and linked bidirectionally to adjustment outcomes in ways that can both promote and hinder overall development. Part I of this special issue of the journal extends this emerging knowledge base, particularly with respect to the formative role of the developing self-system and socioenvironmental context. Self-esteem in relation to adjustment, developmental status, and social-community interventions will be considered in a forthcoming second part of the special issue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-11
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Early Adolescence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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