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01-12-2013 | Uitgave 10/2013

Quality of Life Research 10/2013

Self-esteem and life satisfaction in adolescents—gender and age as potential moderators

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 10/2013
Unni K. Moksnes, Geir A. Espnes



The present paper investigated gender differences on life satisfaction and self-esteem as well as the association between self-esteem and life satisfaction in Norwegian adolescents aged 13–18 years. The potential moderating role of gender and age in the relation between self-esteem and life satisfaction was also investigated.


A total of 1,239 adolescents from public elementary and secondary schools in mid-Norway participated in the school-based survey study. Mean score differences on the variables used in the study were tested using t tests. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis was used to evaluate the association between self-esteem and life satisfaction, controlled for gender, age, stress, subjective health, and chronic health conditions.


The results showed that boys scored higher than girls on both self-esteem and life satisfaction. Self-esteem was positively associated with life satisfaction, explaining 24 % of the variance. However, no interaction effect of gender × self-esteem or age × self-esteem was found in relation to life satisfaction.


The results give support for that boys report higher self-esteem and life satisfaction than girls. Self-esteem has a positive role in association with adolescents’ life satisfaction, and this relationship is equally strong for both genders and across age.

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