Longitudinal Links Between Self-Esteem and the Importance of Self-Direction Values During Adolescence

Ella Daniel*, Maya Benish Weisman, Ariel Knafo-Noam, Anat Bardi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Self-direction values (e.g., independence, curiosity) are among the most important values to people worldwide. However, it is not clear what encourages their development. We propose that self-esteem may be associated with the development of self-direction values because feelings of self-worth provide the confidence needed for independent pursuit. As both independence and self-esteem develop during adolescence, we examined longitudinal associations between self-direction values and self-esteem in adolescents. Study 1 (NT1 = 527, 55.6% girls, Mage = 16.24, SD =.71, NT2 = 198) included two annual waves of data collection. Study 2 (Noverall = 486, 55.6% girls, initial Mage = 13.76, SD =.51, NT1 = 418, NT2 = 420, NT3 = 426, NT4 = 387) included four annual waves. In the studies, a cross-lagged panel model and a random-intercept cross-lagged panel model showed that adolescents who feel worthy are more likely to experience an increase in the importance of values of independent thoughts and actions relative to other values. Partial support was found for the opposite direction of association. The results were replicated across longitudinal studies of varying duration and across measures. We discuss the results in light of theories of self-esteem, values, and specifically the development of self-direction values.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)20-32
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Personality
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • adolescence
  • longitudinal study
  • self-direction
  • self-esteem
  • values


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