17 Factors That Influence Self-Esteem

An excerpt from "What is Self-Esteem? A Psychologist Explains" by Courtney E. Ackerman

It might be quicker to list what factors don’t influence self-esteem than to identify which factors do influence it! As you might expect, self-esteem is a complex construct and there are many factors that contribute to it, whether positively or negatively.

For a quick sample of some of the many factors that are known to influence self-esteem, check out this list:

  • Commitment to the worker, spouse, and parental role are positively linked to self-esteem (Reitzes & Mutran, 1994).
  • Worker identity meaning is positively related to self-esteem (Reitzes & Mutran, 2006).
  • Being married and older is linked to lower self-esteem (Reitzes & Mutran, 2006).
  • Higher education and higher income are related to higher self-esteem (Reitzes & Mutran, 2006).
  • Low socioeconomic status and low self-esteem are related (von Soest, Wagner, Hansen, & Gerstorf, 2018).
  • Living alone (without a significant other) is linked to low self-esteem (van Soest et al., 2018).
  • Unemployment and disability contribute to lower self-esteem (van Soest et al., 2018).
  • A more mature personality and emotional stability are linked to higher self-esteem (van Soest et al., 2018).
  • Social norms (the importance of friends’ and family members’ opinions) about one’s body and exercise habits are negatively linked to self-esteem, while exercise self-efficacy and self-fulfillment are positively linked to self-esteem (Chang & Suttikun, 2017).