Today's news on teens and self-esteem notes that there has been such growth in teens who feel confident about themselves that in fact the principles that helped that self-esteem grow may have gone too far.
The researchers asked teenagers 13 questions that had to do with their self-view, and compared the answers given in 1975 and 2006.
Some results of the study, which was published in the Nov. issue of Psychological Science:
In 1975, about 37 percent thought they would be "very good" spouses; about the same number thought they'd be "very good" parents, and about 50 percent thought they'd be "exemplary" workers.
In 2006, about 56 percent thought they'd be "very good" spouses, 54 percent thought they'd be "very good" parents, and almost 66 percent thought they'd be "exemplary" workers.
Teens in 2006 were also more likely to report themselves as A students, rated their level of intelligence higher and were more likely to say they were "completely satisfied" with themselves.
So what could be wrong with that?
"What this shows is that confidence has crossed over into overconfidence," said Jean Twenge, an associate professor of psychology at San Diego State University and one of the researchers.
She worries that the trend of uncritical boosterism by parents and schools may be resulting in "a generation of kids with expectations that are out of sync with the challenges of the real world.
"High school students' responses have crossed over into a really unrealistic realm, with three-fourths of them expecting performance that's effectively in the top 20 percent," Twenge said.
It feels a little like Goldilocks and the three bears -- this number is not enough, but that number is too much. What's the perfect amount of self-esteem?
Here's the article:
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