Magazine article Work & Family Life

Real Self-Esteem the Hard Way . . . through Work

Magazine article Work & Family Life

Real Self-Esteem the Hard Way . . . through Work

Article excerpt

We've all been told how important self-esteem is, so we want our kids to have it. But how do they get it-really?

The hard way, it seems: through achievement based on effort, according to an exhaustive review of over 200 studies on the subject by psychologist Roy Baumeister and his colleagues, reported in the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest. Here's what they found:

* Students work hard because they want to do better academically. Good grades feel better than bad ones. Any selfesteem program that encourages kids to feel good about themselves regardless of their work may even undermine incentive.

* High self-esteem is the result (not the cause) of good performance. Trying to boost people's self-esteem by praising them excessively-without helping them learn more or perform better-does not bring higher achievement at school or work. …

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