Self-Esteem Equal for Teen Girls and Teen Boys

According to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Basel in Switzerland, self-esteem levels for adolescent girls and boys increase equally, leveling off in adulthood. The study also revealed that Hispanics had a decreased level of self-esteem during adolescence, but showed the highest increase in self-esteem into adulthood. By age 30, Hispanics had a much higher level of self-esteem than whites, even higher than the white participants, whose self-esteem was found to be lower than not only the Hispanic’s, but also lower than the self-esteem of the black participants.

The researchers used information gathered from the Young Adults section of the national Longitudinal Survey of Youth, to evaluate self-esteem of blacks, whites and Hispanics. Those surveyed included over 7,000 people from age 14 to age 30. Nearly half of those in the study were female, 32 percent black, 37 percent white, 20 percent Hispanic and 11 percent were of other ethnicities. The survey contained data that was gathered for fourteen years. The researchers looked at how specific personality traits, including agreeableness, openness, extraversion, neuroticism and conscientiousness, influenced the self-esteem of the subjects. Ruth Yasemin Erol, MSc, one of the researchers, said, “We tested for factors that we thought would have an impact on how self-esteem develops. Understanding the trajectory of self-esteem is important to pinpointing and timing interventions that could improve people’s self-esteem.” The researchers also put controls in place to allow for sense of mastery.

Erol said, “The converging evidence on gender similarity in self-esteem is important because false beliefs in gender differences in self-esteem may carry substantial costs.” She added, “For example, parents, teachers and counselors may overlook self-esteem problems in male adolescents and young men because of the widespread belief that men have higher self-esteem than women have.” The researchers also noted that income had no bearing on the self-esteem of the adolescents or young adults.

© Copyright 2011 by By John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Roger Owais

    Roger Owais

    July 20th, 2011 at 5:34 PM

    Girls & boys ve equal self-esteem -> Good
    Ethnic minorities have more self-esteem in fact -> Good 1ce again.

    Dis is jus a reflection of d societal attitude towards gender & ethnicity based issues & seems like things have improved!

  • josephinascott


    July 20th, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    That’s interesting because I’ve always considered young men to have much higher self-esteem than young girls.

    The question is has the self-esteem in young girls increased or have the self-esteem levels in young men dropped to match that of the young women? I hope it’s the former.

  • charmaine stone

    charmaine stone

    July 20th, 2011 at 9:42 PM

    Self-esteem is different for every person. It’s based heavily on their upbringing. Parents that insult their kids will have children with terrible self-esteem, while parents who praise and reward them will have ones with enough willpower and self-confidence to take on the world.



    July 21st, 2011 at 8:48 AM

    @josephinascott:Interesting thought there,mister.

    And if you ask me it is a bit of both.Women feel more empowered now more than ever before. And the same thing causes a little bit of ego hurt in men. So it has to be a bit of both.

  • Faith Wyatt

    Faith Wyatt

    July 23rd, 2011 at 5:38 AM

    I am very curious in that growth of self esteem in the Hispanic community for example.
    Do you think that it could be that these are communities that tend to be very close knot and therefore that creates a closeness and specialness that other groups do not know about?
    It also seems that a lot of these ethnic groups spend a lot more time in church (I do not know that this is the real truth but it feels that way in my neighborhood) and maybe this fosters better self esteem too.

  • laney sloane

    laney sloane

    July 25th, 2011 at 4:39 AM

    I tend to disagree with this one- boys are much more supported at this age than girls are and I really strongly believe that they never feel the same kind of low self esteem that young girls have to experience. Society is no where near as hard on boys and their appearance as it is on girls and I think that this is a major feeder of poor self esteem for young girls. Get rid of some of this junk and then maybe we will have some better success with helping raise their self esteem and feel better about themselves.

  • Geroge S

    Geroge S

    February 20th, 2017 at 7:26 PM

    Why are girls scared of getting fat 😂😂😂

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