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Self-Esteem and Income Over Time


Bleidorn, Wiebke; Kretzschmar, André; Rauthmann, John F; Orth, Ulrich; Denissen, Jaap J A; Hopwood, Christopher J (2023). Self-Esteem and Income Over Time. Psychological Science, 34(10):1163-1172.

Abstract

There is robust evidence that people with higher incomes tend to have higher self-esteem, but little is known about how changes in income and self-esteem are related within individuals. Some theories predict that increased earnings lead to higher self-esteem, others that increased self-esteem leads to higher earnings, and still others that there should be no within-person associations between these variables. We tested these theories in 4-year longitudinal data from more than 4,000 adult participants from a Dutch representative sample. Results indicated significant between-person associations between income and self-esteem, consistent with prior research. Within-person effects suggested that increases in self-esteem are a function of previous increases in income more than the other way around. These links held when analyses controlled for employment status, and they generalized across gender, age, and educational background. Overall, the findings provide evidence for theories that consider self-esteem as both a source and a consequence of personal earnings.

Abstract

There is robust evidence that people with higher incomes tend to have higher self-esteem, but little is known about how changes in income and self-esteem are related within individuals. Some theories predict that increased earnings lead to higher self-esteem, others that increased self-esteem leads to higher earnings, and still others that there should be no within-person associations between these variables. We tested these theories in 4-year longitudinal data from more than 4,000 adult participants from a Dutch representative sample. Results indicated significant between-person associations between income and self-esteem, consistent with prior research. Within-person effects suggested that increases in self-esteem are a function of previous increases in income more than the other way around. These links held when analyses controlled for employment status, and they generalized across gender, age, and educational background. Overall, the findings provide evidence for theories that consider self-esteem as both a source and a consequence of personal earnings.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > General Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:self-esteem, income, LISS, RI-CLPM, longitudinal, within-person, open materials, preregistered
Language:English
Date:21 September 2023
Deposited On:10 Oct 2023 08:52
Last Modified:30 Mar 2024 04:45
Publisher:Sage Publications
ISSN:0956-7976
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/09567976231185129
PubMed ID:37732970
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)