ERIC Number: EJ778862
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Reference Count: 64
The Developmental Costs of High Self-Esteem for Antisocial Children
Menon, Madhavi; Tobin, Desiree D.; Corby, Brooke C.; Menon, Meenakshi; Hodges, Ernest V. E.; Perry, David G.
Child Development, v78 n6 p1627-1639 Nov-Dec 2007
Two hypotheses--high self-esteem leads children to act on antisocial cognitions (disposition-activating hypothesis) and high self-esteem leads children to rationalize antisocial conduct (disposition-rationalizing hypothesis)--were investigated in two longitudinal studies. In Study 1 (N = 189; mean age = 11.1 years), antisocial behavior was aggression; in Study 2 (N = 407; mean age = 10.8 years) it was avoidance of the mother. In both studies, there was little evidence for the disposition-activating hypothesis but considerable support for the disposition-rationalizing hypothesis. Over time, aggressive children with high self-esteem increasingly valued the rewards that aggression offers and belittled their victims, and avoidant children with high self-esteem increasingly viewed their mother as harassing and uninvolved. For antisocial children, high self-esteem carries costs.
Descriptors: Aggression, Mothers, Longitudinal Studies, Self Esteem, Child Development, Antisocial Behavior, Hypothesis Testing, Parent Child Relationship, Personality Traits
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Child Health and Human Development (NIH), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A