Self-Esteem: A Critical Examination of its Relationship to Narcissism, Anxiety, and Contingencies of Self-Worth

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Gill, Peter ORCID: 0000-0001-7772-4849 and Kostanski, Marion (2004) Self-Esteem: A Critical Examination of its Relationship to Narcissism, Anxiety, and Contingencies of Self-Worth. In: Psychological science in action : proceedings of the 39th APS Annual Conference, 29 September - 3 October, Sydney NSW. Katsikitis, Mary, ed. Australian Psychological Society , Melbourne, Vic., pp. 118-122.


Despite the strong educational and lay belief in the valency of global self-esteem, evidence of the effectiveness of self-esteem enhancement programs remains limited. The current study is a critical and empirical exploration of self-esteem in relation to anxiety, narcissism, and contingencies of self-worth. Self-report surveys from 92 young adults (43 male, 49 female, aged 23-37) indicated that self-esteem was negatively correlated with trait anxiety (r = -0.64) as well as to external contingencies of self-worth (r = -0.37), and positively correlated with narcissism (r = 0.38). Hierarchical regression analysis indicated that these factors significantly predicted 47% of the variance in reported self-esteem. The outcomes of this study challenge the notion that high self-esteem scores are necessarily reflective of overall psychological health. It is proposed that the conceptual basis of self-esteem requires revision within the framework of current psychological understanding.

Item type Book Section
ISBN 0909881251
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1701 Psychology
Historical > FOR Classification > 2002 Cultural Studies
Historical > FOR Classification > 2299 Other Philosophy and Religious Studies
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Keywords ResPubID7904, emotional instability, self-esteem enhancement, self-preoccupation, self-absorption, Narcissistic Personality Inventory, NPI, mood swings, self-regard, self-esteem measurement, external validation, well-being, behavioral outcomes, praise, encouragement, success, failure, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, RSE, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, STAI, construct
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