Developmental Psychology

Research question: Is adolescence a period for low self-esteem?

Many grown ups recall adolescence as stage in their life when they were filled with self-analysis and a declining self-esteem. While most think so, some view this stage as a subjective situation that cannot be measured, considering that not all adults suffered the event. Even so, it is considered that physical appearance in adolescents has a lot to do with self-esteem, and the higher the dissatisfaction, the lower the self-image. Studies confirm that over a third of adolescent’s struggle with self-esteem from their looks.

Self-esteem is an issue in adolescence that can result in many problems such as isolation, low academic performance, behavioral issues, and depression at the worst. According to Morsunbul (2015), girls are affected more than boys are. However, this trend can be altered with increased motivation from grown-ups, who help their youth understand that their stage is only a phase in life. Harris and Orth (2019) argue that social relationships contribute largely to shaping the self-esteem of adolescents, or the personal evaluation of self-worth.

Self-esteem in adolescents shapes the development of identity. As this is a time when youngsters are critical of each other and themselves, the infusion of positive opinions on their concept of self and others helps with shaping their personalities. Here, Harris and Orth (2019) argue that this group of people should be taught the meaning of commitment to self as well as a worthy course. In the absence of this, adolescents risk losing their path to a brighter adulthood, which could become a repetitive cycle as they could fail to teach future generations from a point of experience.


Harris, M. A., & Orth, U. (2019, September 26). The Link Between Self-Esteem and SocialRelationships: A Meta-Analysis of Longitudinal Studies. Journal of Personality and SocialPsychology. Advance online publication.

Morsunbul, U. (2015). The effect of identity development, self-esteem, low self-control and gender on aggression in adolescence and emerging adulthood.Eurasian Journal of Educational Research, 61, 99-116.