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Self-esteem and emotional health in adolescents – gender and age as potential moderators

Authors

  • UNNI K. MOKSNES,

    1. Research Centre for Health Promotion and Resources HiST/NTNU, Trondheim, Norway
    2. Faculty of Nursing, Sør-Trøndelag University College, Trondheim, Norway
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  • GEIR A. ESPNES

    1. Research Centre for Health Promotion and Resources HiST/NTNU, Trondheim, Norway
    2. Department of Social Work and Health Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
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Unni Karin Moksnes, Faculty of Nursing, Sør-Trøndelag University College, Mauritz Hansens Gate 2, 7004 Trondheim, Norway. E-mail: unni.moksnes@svt.ntnu.no

Abstract

Moksnes, U. K. & Espnes, G. A. (2012). Self-esteem and emotional health in adolescents – gender and age as a potential moderators. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 53, 483–489.

The present paper investigates possible gender and age differences on emotional states (depression and anxiety) and self-esteem as well as the association between self-esteem and emotional states. The cross-sectional sectional sample consists of 1,209 adolescents 13–18 years from public elementary and secondary schools in mid-Norway. The results showed that girls reported higher scores on state anxiety and state depression, whereas boys consistently scored higher on self-esteem in all age groups. Self-esteem was strongly and inversely associated with both state depression and state anxiety. An interaction effect of gender by self-esteem was found on state depression, where the association was stronger for girls than for boys. The associations found give support for the positive role of self-esteem in relation to adolescents’ emotional health and well-being.

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