Get access

Costs of Self-Handicapping

Authors


  • Miron Zuckerman, Department of Clinical & Social Sciences in Psychology, University of Rochester; Fen-Fang Tsai, Department of Clinical & Social Sciences in Psychology, University of Rochester.

  • We thank Alessandro A. Vivenzio and Aislinn R. Sapp for their assistance with data collection and entry.

concerning this article should be addressed to Miron Zuckerman, Department of Clinical & Social Sciences in Psychology, University of Rochester, Meliora Hall, RC Box 270266, Rochester, NY14627-0266. E-mail: miron@psych.rochester.edu

Abstract

Abstract Four studies examined the relation of trait self-handicapping with health-related measures. Study 1 showed that, over time, self-handicapping and maladjustment reinforce each other. Study 2 showed that self-handicappers reported a loss in competence satisfaction which, in turn, mediated the relation of self-handicapping with negative mood. Study 3 found that, over time, self-handicappers report an increase in substance use. Study 4 showed that self-handicappers reported a loss in intrinsic motivation for their jobs. It was suggested that people with unstable (or contingent) self-esteem use self-handicapping to bolster a fragile self-concept.

Ancillary