The present study focused on differences in self-esteem trajectory in early adolescence rather than on average change across all children. Longitudinal data from 128 adolescents were obtained over a 2-year period that encompassed the transition from elementary school to junior high school. Cluster analysis revealed four markedly divergent self-esteem trajectories: consistently high (35%), chronically low (13%), steeply declining (21%), and small increase (31%). Attempts to predict trajectories were only partially successful. Peer social support was the strongest predictor, but its relation to self-esteem appears more circumscribed than had been thought. The discussion considers differences in the experience of early adolescence, as well as implications for the design and evaluation of preventive intervention.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)