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Self-esteem development in the school context: The roles of intrapersonal and interpersonal social predictors
Wagner, J., Lüdtke, O., Robitzsch, A., Göllner, R., Trautwein, U.

Self-esteem development in the school context: The roles of intrapersonal and interpersonal social predictors

Journal of Personality, 86(3), 481-497. DOI: 10.1111/jopy.12330

Objective: When considering that social inclusion is a basic human need, it makes sense that self-esteem is fueled by social feedback and the sense of being liked by others. This is particularly true with respect to early adolescence, when peers become increasingly important. In the current paper, we tested which components of social inclusion are particularly beneficial for the development of self-esteem by differentiating between intrapersonal components (i.e., self-perceptions of social inclusion) and interpersonal components (i.e., perceiver and target effects of liking). Method: Using longitudinal data from N=2,281 fifth graders and N=1,766 eighth graders (TRAIN; Jonkmann et al., 2013), we tested mean-level self-esteem development and the role of intrapersonal components in this development. Using classroom round-robin data on liking from subsamples of n=846 (n=689) fifth-(eighth-)grade students nested in 46 (39) classes, we tested effects of interpersonal relationship components on self-esteem development in the classroom context. Results: The three major findings demonstrated, first, no consistent trends in mean levels of self-esteem in early to middle adolescence; second, constant positive effects of intrapersonal components between-students and within-students across time; third, no stable effects of interpersonal components. Conclusions: The discussion highlights the role of intrapersonal components and the methodological challenges of our study.