ABSTRACT

Rosenberg (1965) defined self-esteem as a positive or negative attitude toward the self. As certain attitudes toward an object frequently entail corresponding psychological, social, or behavioral responses to the object (Petty et al., 1997), a person’s self-esteem is closely associated with his/her psychological, social, and behavioral outcomes. Individuals with high self-esteem tend to adapt better when they exper-ience major stressors because they have more efficient coping strategies (Carver, Scheier, & Weinstraub, 1989). Self-esteem plays a role as an effective defense against stressful consequences and can prevent negative health and mental health outcomes (Pearlin, 1987; Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). It is, therefore, important for individuals to maintain certain levels of self-esteem to successfully cope with stressors and to achieve optimum outcomes. Thus, the measurement of self-esteem is very relevant to social work research and practice.