How Self-Esteem Changes Over the Lifespan


“Self-esteem builds over the lifespan and peaks at age 60.”

This article from Psychology Today provides an overview of a recent survey of over 300 studies on how self-esteem is generally experienced over one’s lifespan. The piece highlights the fact that self-esteem actually peaks at 60 and remains steady for decades, only dipping, for some, after 90.

An excerpt from the article:

“Past studies also suggested that older folks experience a notable drop in self-esteem, Orth says. The review demonstrated a more benign decrease through age 70 and a stark change only at age 90. Despite the challenges of aging, such as retirement, physical health problems, reduced social mobility, and loss of family and friends, the elderly can maintain relatively high levels of self-esteem. ‘It’s important to take care of the elderly and help them maintain high self-esteem,’ Orth says. ‘It would be desirable for everyone to be satisfied with themselves when they look back on their life.’ Evidence suggests that low self-esteem is a risk factor for developing depression, he adds, so addressing self-esteem could potentially help improve health and well-being for seniors.”

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subject terms

Aging & Longevity

Aging & Longevity > Aging & Longevity

Aging & Longevity > Positive Aging

Aging & Longevity > Vitality & Wellness


Abigail Fagan

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Organization Profiles




Depression, lifespan, Self-esteem