Positive relationships boost self-esteem, and vice versa

Posted on October 4, 2019

A meta-analysis of more than two decades of research has found that having self-esteem and interpersonal relationships influence one another, such that having a high self-esteem will improve the quality of relationships, and having close interpersonal ties can improve one’s self-esteem.

52 studies were examined in this meta-analysis, involving more than 47,000 participants. The studies focused on the impact of self-esteem on social relations, as well as the reverse. Participants were from various age groups and countries.

Researchers found that good and healthy social relationships and support influence the development of self-esteem over time across most age groups. High self-esteem was also found to have a significant effect on boosting social relationships.

This indicates that there is a positive feedback loop which is built up over time. Good relationships with parents can help to nurture the self-esteem of children, and these children will grow to form healthy relationships with their peers during adolescence. This also strengthens the self-esteem of emerging adults, and the loop continues into late adulthood.

The opposite is true as well. Low self-esteem and negative relationships can result in a downward spiral. Hence, this is an important consideration for clinical professionals when treating individuals with adverse development.


Source material from Science Daily

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