Title

The Resilience of Self-Esteem in Late Adulthood

Publication Date

8-2005

Journal

Journal of Aging and Health

Volume

17

Issue

4

First Page

471

Last Page

489

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The authors examined the resilience of self-esteem after loss in the lives of older adults. Specifically, the authors investigated the relationship between loss and change in self-esteem during a 3-year period.

METHOD: A subsample of older adults (n = 1,278) from the Americans' Changing Lives Study was used to examine loss in the domains of health, financial security, or work and career and self-esteem before and after the loss.

RESULTS: There was a small but significant decrease in self-esteem between Wave I and Wave II of the study. Loss in one of the domains explained less than 1% of the variance in self-esteem change.

DISCUSSION: The low incidence of loss and small change in high levels of self-esteem are further evidence of resilience in older adults' psychological well-being. The implications for older adults' use of cognitive strategies to manage losses and promote gains are discussed.

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