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Sex differences in the self-concept in adolescence

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This paper examines an aspect of the self-concept — salience of the self or self-consciousness — which has generally been neglected in the past. In an empirical study of nearly 2,000 children and adolescents, it was found that striking sex differences emerge during the adolescent period. Girls are considerably more self-conscious than boys, more vulnerable to criticism, and more concerned with promoting interpersonal harmony. Overall, adolescent girls are increasingly “people-oriented” while boys stress achievement and competence. It is suggested that these differences reflect the social definitions of sex roles.

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Author information

Correspondence to Florence R. Rosenberg.

Additional information

The work of the second author is currently supported by a Research Development Award from the National Institute of Mental Health, #5-K1-MH-41, and MH-197541-01. Grateful acknowledgement is made to Morris Rosenberg for helpful comments.

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Rosenberg, F.R., Simmons, R.G. Sex differences in the self-concept in adolescence. Sex Roles 1, 147–159 (1975). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00288008

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  • Empirical Study
  • Social Psychology
  • Adolescent Girl
  • Adolescent Period
  • Social Definition