Self-esteem is a complex concept involving several domains of attitudes and behaviors. These include self-concept, self-image, self-efficacy, and self-control. The specific domains that are related to self-esteem are the following: the extent to which people perceive themselves to be a worthwhile person, their level of competence in specific domains such as academic or athletic achievement, their level of persistence, their perceived value as a unique individual, their level of social approval, their level of personal worth, their sense of self-worth, and their motivation to succeed in these domains. Although there are many areas and issues that have been researched concerning the various aspects of the self-esteem domain, the following categories are the most commonly researched.
Physical appearance is closely connected to the level of self-esteem in many ways. People with a positive body image are perceived as more attractive and physically appealing to others. People who take care of themselves physically are perceived as having high self-esteem because they believe in and are committed to their own health and well-being. Good physical appearance also leads to high self-esteem; healthy and attractive bodies are seen as desirable. In addition, healthy and attractive bodies are associated with higher levels of health, longevity, and achievement.
Many of the relationships between self-esteem and physical appearance have been understood since the time of antiquity. For example, the general self-esteem principle states that you are what you eat. New research has revealed that the same principle applies to physical attractiveness and age. Older adults have lower levels of physical attractiveness and higher self-esteem than younger people.
When it comes to personality, people’s overall self-esteem is closely related to the extent to which they feel competent and self-assured in different social settings. But it appears that there are more psychological than physical components to self-esteem. For example, the new research found that the relationship between physical appearance and self-esteem differs for women than for men. Men’s self-esteem was not related to their physical appearance in the way that it was related to women.
The new research also discovered that the relationship between physical appearance self-esteem and maturity was strongest among women who were married. Interestingly, the relationship between physical appearance self-esteem and marital status did not hold true when the women were younger or if they were more physically attractive than their husbands. This new research is important because many psychologists argue that the concept of the “mature” self-image has become a cultural phenomenon, one that can have negative implications for young people. Young people tend to perceive marriage as an adult fitness goal, much like they do adulthood. As a result, many young women have a low level of physical appearance self-esteem and a high degree of marital satisfaction. If the maturity principle is working for these women, then they may need to redefine what it means for them to be healthy and successful in marriage.
The research found that the level of physical attraction had little effect on the level of self-esteem. However, the researchers did find that the level of marital satisfaction had a strong impact on self-esteem. In particular, they found that the more favorable the spouse was for the woman, the higher her self-esteem. This suggests that the maturity principle may actually work for wives as well as for husbands. The only way to know for sure is to conduct future studies on how the matrimonial relationship affects self-esteem. Until then, husbands should make sure that they are supporting their wives in the same way that they would if the wife were younger.
One thing that does appear to affect self-esteem is marital satisfaction. Marital satisfaction appears to be one of the best ways to affect self-esteem, at least in some studies. There may be some truth to this because marriage is a natural way to build the foundation for a relationship. Many times couples will experience a period of marital dissatisfaction, which can lead to a drop in self-esteem. If the couple does not try to work through any problems, there is a good chance that their relationship will suffer.
One of the most important relationships that affect self-esteem is that between husband and wife. Both men and women need to make sure that they are providing their spouse with everything that she needs and wants. If a wife doesn’t feel emotionally connected to her husband, she will have a very hard time being emotionally connected to another person. On the other hand, if a husband does not provide his wife with everything that she needs or wants, he will have a very hard time being emotionally connected to another person. Both spouses need to remember that they are married and they need to make sure that they are doing everything that they can to keep the marriage alive and thriving.