What Determines Your Self-Esteem?

What really determines your self-esteem? Is it your financial status? Your gender? Your age? Yes, on all accounts. Your self-esteem -- even low self-esteem -- may be influenced by a strange combination of life circumstance, gender, and stage of life.

According to a new study by the American Psychological Association, rich, happily married men around 60 have the highest self-esteem. In contrast, the survey found confidence is lowest among young adults, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Fifty and Fabulous

After peaking in men around 60, retirement and declining health caused a decline in self-esteem, researchers said.

The Daily Telegraph said the study looked at 3,617 American men and women, ages 25 to 104, between 1986 and 2002. The survey rated how their self-esteem changed during that period, the newspaper said.

A Superficial Search for Eternal Youth?

Women were less confident than men, only catching up when they got to their 80s or even 90s, the survey indicated. A better education, income, health and employment status also affected self-esteem, the report said, with those having those advantages reporting higher levels of self-esteem. Their self-esteem rose as they aged.

A happy marriage also led to higher levels of confidence.

Study leader Ulrich Orth said: "Specifically, we found that people who have higher incomes and better health in later life tend to maintain their self-esteem as they age. We cannot know for certain that more wealth and better health directly lead to higher self-esteem, but it does appear to be linked in some way," the Daily Telegraph reported.

Trying Out a New Look

The study was published by the Washington-headquartered American Psychological Association.

The report did not give a margin of error for its findings.


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