Self-esteem trajectories among ethnic minority adolescents

A growth curve analysis of the patterns and predictors of change

Melissa L. Greene, Niobe Way

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The current study presents a growth curve analysis of self-esteem among Black, Latino, and Asian American high school students. A series of hierarchical linear models were used to examine patterns and predictors of change in self-esteem over time. Results revealed an average increase in self-esteem with age. Although boys and girls experienced similar trajectories of self-esteem, ethnicity was a significant moderator of developmental change. Black adolescents reported higher self-esteem, while Asian American adolescents reported lower self-esteem, compared with their Latino peers. Latino adolescents experienced a sharper increase in self-esteem over time compared with Black adolescents. The unique and conjoint effects of adolescents' experiences with peers, family, and school were examined in relation to self-esteem trajectories. Results revealed that each perceived context was significantly associated with self-esteem trajectories when examined independently, but family experiences emerged as most strongly related to changes in self-esteem. Results underscore the need to examine change at the individual level, as well as the importance of studying the unique and conjoint effects of individual and contextual-level variables on developmental processes among ethnic minority adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-178
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2005

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Self Concept
national minority
self-esteem
adolescent
Growth
Hispanic Americans
Asian Americans
moderator
linear model
school
Linear Models
experience
ethnicity
Students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

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title = "Self-esteem trajectories among ethnic minority adolescents: A growth curve analysis of the patterns and predictors of change",
abstract = "The current study presents a growth curve analysis of self-esteem among Black, Latino, and Asian American high school students. A series of hierarchical linear models were used to examine patterns and predictors of change in self-esteem over time. Results revealed an average increase in self-esteem with age. Although boys and girls experienced similar trajectories of self-esteem, ethnicity was a significant moderator of developmental change. Black adolescents reported higher self-esteem, while Asian American adolescents reported lower self-esteem, compared with their Latino peers. Latino adolescents experienced a sharper increase in self-esteem over time compared with Black adolescents. The unique and conjoint effects of adolescents' experiences with peers, family, and school were examined in relation to self-esteem trajectories. Results revealed that each perceived context was significantly associated with self-esteem trajectories when examined independently, but family experiences emerged as most strongly related to changes in self-esteem. Results underscore the need to examine change at the individual level, as well as the importance of studying the unique and conjoint effects of individual and contextual-level variables on developmental processes among ethnic minority adolescents.",
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