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Definition: self-esteem from

The Penguin Dictionary of Psychology

The degree to which one values oneself. Note that although the word esteem carries the connotation of high worth or value, the combined form, self-esteem, refers to the full dimension and the degree of self-esteem (high or low) is usually specified. Contrast with SELF-APPRAISAL, from which the evaluative component is absent. Note that the referential domain of the term is sometimes extended to include the esteem of a group with which one identifies or is a member of. See here, SELF-ENHANCEMENT.

Summary Article: Self-Esteem from The Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology and Behavioral Science
The term self-esteem was first coined by William James in 1890, which makes it one of the oldest concepts in psychology. Self-esteem’s importance is often seen in relation to such crucial areas as human motivation, development, performance, coping ability, relationship formation, psychopathology, and mental health or overall well-being. Self-esteem also appears to be the third most frequently occurring theme in psychological literature, with more than 25,000 articles, chapters, and books written on the topic (Rodewalt & Tragakis, (2003)). Given such a long and important history, it is not surprising to find several definitions of self-esteem in the field (Mruk, (2006)). Three of these definitions generate distinct schools of thought consisting of central ideas about self-esteem, major theories consistent with each set of ideas, and a related body of research concerning the role self-esteem plays in behavior. Therefore, understanding self-esteem and its...    Continue Reading

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