Personality and Individual Differences
School of Education
University of Western Australia
Research on children's values (i.e., broad motivational goals) largely focuses on whether their values have a similar theoretical pattern of organization to those of adults, whether they hold similar value priorities to adults or adolescents, and how their values relate to social behavior. However, little is known about how values relate to wellbeing in middle childhood. We examined relations between the values of children aged 6–12 and aspects of their self-esteem, including global self-worth and five domain-specific-competencies. We found global self-worth and physical appearance were positively related to self-transcendence, conservation, and openness-to-change values, and negatively related to self-enhancement values. Social competence was positively related to self-transcendence and openness-to-change, and negatively to self-enhancement values. The other domain-specific-competencies presented different patterns of relations. Behavioral conduct was positively related to self-transcendence and conservation values, but negatively related to self-enhancement values. Athletic competence was positively related to openness-to-change and self-transcendence, but negatively related to conservation values, whereas scholastic competence was only positively related to openness-to-change values. We found support for our hypotheses and were able to show values relate to aspects of self-esteem at an earlier age than previously thought.
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