Self-determination as a source of self-esteem in adolescence

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This research examines the effects of the sense of self-determination in three spheres of male adolescents' lives (the family, the school, and the workplace) on positive self-esteem, using five waves of panel data from the Youth in Transition study (grade 10 to five years after high school). Though the self-concept literature has emphasized social sources of self-evaluation, these analyses point to the importance of generalization and attribution processes. It is concluded that the same kinds of experiences that have been found to foster positive psychological outcomes in adulthood - personal discretion in decision making and interesting, challenging tasks - have developmental significance in adolescence as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1377-1404
Number of pages28
JournalSocial Forces
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1996

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
* This research was supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging (AG03325), the University of Minnesota Computer Center, and the IUPUI Office of Integrated Technology. The authors would like to thank Geoffrey Maruyama for his comments and advice throughout the data analysis, Melvin Kohn for several very helpful suggestions on an earlier draft, and the participants in the Indiana University Program Seminar on Identity, Self, Role, and Mental Health. Portions of this article were presented at the annual meetings of the American Sociological Association, Washington, D.C., August 1995. Direct correspondence to Timothy 1. Owens, Department of Sociology, Indiana University at Indianapolis, 425 University Blvd., Indianapolis, iN 46202-5140. E-maih TOWENS@INDYVAX.IUPUI.EDZL


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