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Res Aging. 1989 Dec;11(4):427-42.

Social relations and the self-esteem of older persons.


This study employs survey data from a sample of persons 55 years of age and older to examine the antecedents of self-esteem. Hypotheses are derived from a theoretical orientation that hinges on the ability of the individual to terminate relations that might be productive of negative reflected appraisals. Consistent with hypotheses, friendship interaction is positively related to self-esteem, whereas kinship interaction is not. Marital satisfaction also affects self-esteem positively; among men, this effect is stronger for the retired than for the employed. Finally, never-married and nonemployed older women have lower self-esteem than other women have. Implications are drawn regarding the importance and role of self-esteem in theories of psychological well-being among older persons.

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