Ogihara, Y. (荻原祐二), & Kusumi, T. (楠見孝) (2020). The developmental trajectory of self-esteem across the life span in Japan: Age differences in scores on the Rosenberg self-esteem scale from adolescence to old age. 日本における自尊心の発達的軌跡: 青年期から老年期におけるローゼンバーグの自尊心尺度得点の年齢差 Frontiers in Public Health, 8: 132. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2020.00132
We examined age differences in global self-esteem in Japan from adolescents aged 16 to the elderly aged 88. Previous research has shown that levels of self-liking (one component of self-esteem) are high for elementary school students, low among middle and high school students, but then continues to become higher among adults by the 60s. However, it did not measure both aspects of self-esteem (self-competence and self-liking) or examine the elderly over the age of 70. To fully understand the developmental trajectory of self-esteem in Japan, we analyzed six independent cross-sectional surveys. These surveys administered the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, which measured both self-competence and self-liking, on a large and diverse sample (N = 6,113) that included the elderly in the 70s and 80s. Results indicated that, consistent with previous research, for both self-competence and self-liking, the average level of self-esteem was low in adolescence, but continued to become higher from adulthood to old age. However, a drop of self-esteem was not found over the age of 50, which was inconsistent with prior research in European American cultures. Our research demonstrated that the developmental trajectory of self-esteem may differ across cultures.