Self-esteem is generally defined as how you feel about yourself as a person. While most of the focus is often on how to build self-esteem for young people, it’s the old folks you’ve got to watch. A meta-analysis of more than 150,000 people, published by the American Psychological Association, finds self-esteem peaks in the decade after turning 60.
“Feeling successful. Feeling okay about what happens to you. Feeling loved,” is how Houston psychologist Dr. Laurence Abrams defines self-esteem.
The study looked at people between the ages of 4 to 94, discovering levels rising between 4 and 11, holding steady before a burst between 15 and 30, increasing moderately up to age 60, when self-satisfaction spikes to the highest level in life through age 70 after which it plateaus before a decline at age 90 as cognitive abilities recede.
Dr. Abrams says not everyone experiences their 60’s with such a level of satisfaction. “I would guess they hit mostly people who have been successful, and are looking back on their careers and feeling pretty good about what they’ve done and achieved,” he tells KTRH News.
The pattern found by the study holds across all nationalities, gender, and ethnicity.