Title

Fragile Self-esteem and the Interpersonal Circumplex: Are Feelings of Self-worth Associated with Interpersonal Style?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2011

Department

Psychology

Abstract

The interpersonal content and cohesion of secure and fragile forms of self-esteem were examined across three studies using undergraduate participants. Each study focused on a single marker of fragile self-esteem: unstable self-esteem (N = 327), low implicit self-esteem (N = 288), or contingent self-esteem (N = 347). Across these three markers, self-esteem fragility was found to be strongly associated with the interpersonal styles of men but not women. Men with fragile high self-esteem were characterized by a blend of dominance and hostility, whereas other individuals with high self-esteem were characterized by a blend of dominance and nurturance. The interpersonal styles associated with true and uncertain forms of low self-esteem were diverse and ranged from hostility to nurturance. These findings suggest that secure and fragile forms of self-esteem possess significant interpersonal content and are distinguishable with regard to their interpersonal styles. Implications for the interpersonal nature of fragile self-esteem are discussed.

Publication Title

Self and Identity

Volume

10

Issue

4

First Page

509

Last Page

536