ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (9): 1617-1628.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2013.01617

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The Heritability of Self-esteem: Evidences from Twin Studies

LUO Yu;SHI Yuanyuan;YUE Xitong;FENG Yi;CAI Huajian   

  1. (Key Laboratory of Behavioral Science, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China)
  • Received:2012-10-12 Online:2013-09-15 Published:2013-09-15
  • Contact: CAI Huajian

Abstract: As an important aspect of individual difference, self-esteem has attracted increasing attentions from behavioral genetic scientists. In this paper, we reviewed twin studies on self-esteem and found that: 1) self-esteem is moderately heritable, though non-shared environmental factors also make a difference; 2) the stability of self-esteem is largely genetically determined; 3) the associations between self-esteem and cognition as well as affect are mainly genetically caused. Together, genetic influences on self-esteem are essential. Future twin study may pay more attention to the heritability of self-esteem fluctuation and implicit self-esteem on one hand, and the specificity of people from extreme sub-groups and those from different cultures on the other hand.

Key words: self-esteem, behavioral genetics, twin study, global self-esteem, domain-specific self-esteem