To clarify the relationship of self-esteem and health-related behaviors of primary care clinic patients, 500 family practice residency patients were invited to complete self-esteem and health-risk appraisal instruments. Of the final subject pool (N=469), 154 responded to the single-mailing solicitation, thereby yielding a 32.8% response rate. Correlational analysis found self-esteem to be associated with predicted longevity, life satisfaction, social ties, overall health, personal loss, seatbelt use, age, physical activity, smoking, exposure to violence, and substance use. Multiple regression analysis of male subjects' data found self-esteem most closely related to the frequency of exposure to danger, self-perceptions of health, and tobacco use. Similar analysis of the women's data most closely associated self-esteem to perceived social support, self-perception of health, diastolic blood pressure, and seatbelt use. The data clearly link individuals' self-esteem to predicted longevity. Those with greater self-regard were predicted to live longer, while those with poorer self-esteem achieved shorter predicted longevity. Contributing factors may have included greater emphasis on self-care.
ASJC Scopus subject areas