Introduction: Previous studies examined the trajectory of self-esteem during critical developmental periods and over the life-span. However, little is known about how self-esteem changes during the school-to-work transition. Method: We examined the effect of beginning a job for the first time on self-esteem development, using data from 368 adolescents assessed up to six times across a 14-year time span. Specifically, we analyzed the pattern of self-esteem change during the transition to work and whether the self-esteem trajectory varied as a function of several school- and job-related variables, while controlling for important covariates. Results: Results revealed linear increases in self-esteem across the 14-year study period, with partial support that the rate of increase slowed slightly after the school-to-work transition. We found significantly greater variability in the slopes after the transition, supporting the idea that people differ in the way they cope with the developmental tasks associated with important life transitions. We also found evidence for an interaction between college graduation and educational expectations, such that the positive effect of college graduation on self-esteem change was stronger for those who graduated with low (vs. high) educational expectations. Conclusion: School-to-work transition has an effect on self-esteem development. Developmental processes of findings were discussed.
Self-esteem Development during the Transition to Work: A 14-year Longitudinal Study from Adolescence to Young Adulthood / Filosa, Lorenzo; Alessandri, Guido; Robins, Richard W; Pastorelli, Concetta. - In: JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY. - ISSN 0022-3506. - (2022). [10.1111/jopy.12713]