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NCJ Number: 229926 Find in a Library
Title: Are Violent People More Likely to Have Low Self-Esteem or High Self-Esteem?
Journal: Aggression and Violent Behavior  Volume:15  Issue:1  Dated:January/February 2010  Pages:69-75
Author(s): Michael K. Ostrowsky
Date Published: January 2010
Page Count: 7
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews the relationship between self-esteem and violent behavior.
Abstract: This article reviews and organizes relevant theory and research on the relation between self-esteem and violent behavior. The theoretical relation is currently being debated. One view suggests that low self-esteem leads to violent behavior, whereas another view suggests that violent behavior stems from high self-esteem. Recent theorizing also suggests that narcissism, which is generally associated with high rather than low self-esteem, contributes to violent behavior. In terms of empirical research, the literature reveals inconsistent findings. Thus, it is evident that the exact nature of the relation between self-esteem and violent behavior remains unclear. This article identifies several possible reasons for these conflicting findings and concludes with suggestions for future research. In particular, more research is needed on the commonalities and differences between self-esteem and narcissism, dimensions of self-esteem and narcissism, aggressive subtypes, and stability/instability of self-esteem and aggression. Furthermore, a fruitful avenue for future research is to continue to untangle the gender dynamics surrounding the relation between self-esteem and violent behavior, longitudinal studies with nationally representative samples hold promise, and future research needs to appreciate that the relation between self-esteem and violent behavior may not always be linear. References (Published Abstract)
Main Term(s): Violence causes
Index Term(s): Aggression; Dangerousness; Personality assessment; Self concept; Violence
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