Many people would describe self-esteem simply as the way one feels about oneself. Although this is a core definition, self-esteem is much more complex and multifaceted. It includes having a positive self-regard, a sense of dignity (self-respect), and a concern for self. Self-esteem is a summative or global evaluation of self. It is these personal opinions or appraisals that shape self-identity and self-worth (e.g., who a person is, what a person is). There are numerous influences on self-esteem. However, life experiences as well as family (e.g., spouse, parents, siblings) are fundamental in helping to shape one’s self-esteem. Experienced marriage and couples counselors have a keen understanding of this psychological construct and are aware of the role of self-esteem throughout the life span and in ...

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