Observational Study
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2024. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Psychiatry. Feb 19, 2024; 14(2): 296-307
Published online Feb 19, 2024. doi: 10.5498/wjp.v14.i2.296
Disparities in the impact of economic well-being on self-esteem in adulthood: Race and ethnicity
Jaewon Lee
Jaewon Lee, School of Social Work, Inha University, Incheon 22212, South Korea
Author contributions: Author has read and approved the final manuscript.
Institutional review board statement: This is not applicable as this study used secondary data which are publicly accessible.
Informed consent statement: Not applicable in this study.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The author declares that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.
Data sharing statement: Data has been made publicly available via National Longitudinal Surveys and can be accessed at https://www.nlsinfo.org/content/cohorts/nlsy79.
STROBE statement: The authors have read the STROBE Statement—checklist of items, and the manuscript was prepared and revised according to the STROBE Statement—checklist of items.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: https://creativecommons.org/Licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Corresponding author: Jaewon Lee, PhD, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, Inha University, 100 Inha-ro, Incheon 22212, South Korea. j343@inha.ac.kr
Received: October 19, 2023
Peer-review started: October 19, 2023
First decision: December 11, 2023
Revised: December 15, 2023
Accepted: January 18, 2024
Article in press: January 18, 2024
Published online: February 19, 2024
Research background

Little attention has been given to examining whether other aspects of economic well-being may impact self-esteem during adulthood. Given differences in levels of self-esteem and economic well-being across racial/ethnic groups, it is necessary to identify how race/ethnicity may moderate the relationship between economic well-being and self-esteem.

Research motivation

Little is known about how aspects of economic well-being beyond standard measures of socioeconomic status (e.g., poverty and employment), such as job satisfaction and fringe benefits, influence self-esteem; the majority of this work has focused primarily on the influence of economic well-being on self-esteem in adolescence or childhood rather than adulthood.

Research objectives

This study aims to explore the relationships between economic well-being (employment, poverty, fringe benefits, and job satisfaction) and self-esteem, and investigate the moderating effects of race/ethnicity on the association between economic well-being and self-esteem.

Research methods

Using secondary data, ordinary linear regression analyses and logistic regression analyses were conducted.

Research results

African Americans and Hispanics were more likely to be in poverty in comparison with non-Hispanic Whites. More African Americans were unemployed than Whites. Those who received fringe benefits, were more satisfied with jobs, and those who were employed were more likely to have higher levels of self-esteem. Poverty was negatively associated with self-esteem. Interaction effects were found between African Americans and job satisfaction predicting self-esteem.

Research conclusions

Satisfactory outcomes or feelings of happiness from the workplace may be more important to Non-Hispanic Whites, while African Americans may seek out tangible benefits rather than personal satisfaction with their jobs. Employment-based benefits are critical to increase levels of self-esteem for African Americans who have entered into labor markets and job satisfaction is more important for non-Hispanic Whites’ self-esteem in adulthood.

Research perspectives

We suggest that future studies may show a benefit from a deeper exploration of how other factors interact with economic well-being and self-esteem, and that the use of a longitudinal data set could identify the cumulative effects of economic well-being on self-esteem during adulthood as well as the causal relationships.