دانلود مقاله ISI انگلیسی شماره 30435
عنوان فارسی مقاله

جمعیت شناسی ارزش همسر و عزت نفس

کد مقاله سال انتشار مقاله انگلیسی ترجمه فارسی تعداد کلمات
30435 2004 صفحه PDF سفارش دهید محاسبه نشده
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عنوان انگلیسی
The demographics of mate value and self-esteem
منبع

Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)

Journal : Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 36, Issue 2, January 2004, Pages 471–484

کلمات کلیدی
- جذابیت فیزیکی - عزت نفس - نظریه تکامل - تفاوت جنس بشر - مقایسه اجتماعی - سن - وضعیت تأهل
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چکیده انگلیسی

A revised version of the sociometer hypothesis account of self-esteem holds that self-esteem is a function of multiple indexes of how a person stands in relation to those around him or her. One of the areas in which people are proposed to be sensitive to their relative standing is their mate value—how attractive they are as a potential mate. Elements of one's mate value are tied to age and sex of a person, and marital status may also be a demographic variable that reflects mate value. A study with 161 participants, representing a range of ages and marital standings, found that age, sex, and marital status were related to self-estimates of mate value and efforts to enhance mate value. In turn, mate value and mate value enhancement effort—in addition to marital satisfaction–were significant predictor variables for self-esteem.

مقدمه انگلیسی

Certain self-esteem enhancement programs, popular in schools and other public institutions, implicitly carry an assumption that self-esteem is primarily based upon subjective belief states. Specifically, the premise of such programs is that improvements in self-esteem can be made without a necessary reference to objective criteria in the external world. For example, self-esteem under this view can be characterized by the possession of traits such as tolerance and respect for others, accepting responsibility for ones actions, integrity, pride in ones accomplishments, being loving and lovable, ambitious, and being capable of self-direction (e.g. Branden, 1994 and Owens et al., 2001). Although these are certainly positive traits for people to have and we encourage their development in people, defining self-esteem exclusively in terms of these traits leads to implications as to the presumed nature of self-esteem. In particular, all these traits enjoy a property known as non-zero-sumness: increases in these traits in one person or group of people does not have any implications for decreases in these same traits for other persons. Instead, these traits can, and are, often assessed by comparing how an individual currently views him or herself (perceived self) and that persons ideals (ideal self). Other theories of self-esteem make greater reference to the individual's position relative to others and the external world. The recently influential sociometer hypothesis (Leary, Tambor, Terdal, & Downs, 1995) proposes that self-esteem acts as a monitoring and motivational system involved in the maintenance of interpersonal relationships. Perceived inclusory status acts as the monitor and is related directly to self-esteem. Lowered self-esteem and anxiety are hence products of perceived exclusion. The sociometer hypothesis can efficiently explain situational constraints on self-esteem, as reinforced by the high correlation between self-esteem and individuals' performances in domains that are judged important to others (Harter & Marold, 1991). Some of the findings of Leary and colleagues illustrate how the sociometer theory of self-esteem includes the assumption that self-esteem is indexed to a person's state in the world. In one study, either positive feelings about oneself (i.e. self-esteem) were generated by inclusion in a working group, or negative feelings about oneself were generated by exclusion. In another study, the same manipulation of people's feelings about themselves was found when they were included or excluded from interpersonal interactions. Thus, the sociometer model of self-esteem is fairly directly keyed to objective world states, rather than to purely subjective belief states. That the sociometer model (and similar models) of self-esteem holds that self-esteem is based on objective world states is not problematic per se for self-esteem enhancement programs. There is very strong potential for conflict, however, in that a great many aspects of the world involve zero-sum situations—situations in which an increase in the standing of one person necessarily involves a decrease in standing for others (e.g. higher social status for one person in a hierarchy involves a relative decrease in status for at least one other person). If aspects of self-esteem are zero-sum in nature, then those elements of self-esteem cannot be enhanced in a population en mass. The processes of social inclusion and exclusion central to the sociometer hypothesis have zero-sum aspects to them (and in the studies by Leary et al., 1995 and Leary et al., 1998 they were clearly zero-sum), but it is not entirely clear how rigidly social exclusion and inclusion must conform to a zero-sum format. Recent expansions proposed for the sociometer hypothesis, however, have suggested more research avenues that clearly involve zero-sum contexts. 1.1. Multiple sociometers One of the lines of support for the initial proposal of the sociometer hypothesis was that monitoring social inclusion and exclusion was an adaptive problem; that the evolutionary processes that sculpted the functional design of the mind would likely have included a system to monitor social inclusion and motivate corrective action if the level of inclusion became too low (i.e. social exclusion; Leary et al., 1995). An adaptationist analysis of what evolutionary functions were likely to have been served by self-esteem, however, indicates that social inclusion in only one of such evolutionarily recurrent situations (Kirkpatrick & Ellis, 2001 and Kirkpatrick et al., 2002). Self-esteem can be considered as a system that monitors the environment (both internal and external states of the world) for situations that historically (over evolutionary history) have indicated probable and significant inclusive fitness costs, and motivates corrective actions. Social inclusion/exclusion may be a rough category of some of these situations, including one's status in mating relationships, friendships, coalitions, and kinships. Furthermore, there are other, independent, situations that would appear to be equally plausible as candidates for evolutionarily important situations tracked by self-esteem sociometers, for example: ingroup status relative to outgroups of various sorts, interpersonal dominance, interpersonal status and intersexual attractiveness (Kirkpatrick et al., 2002). In other words, there may be a useful analogy between the functional design of overall self-esteem and the design of depth perception in the visual system. The perception of depth in the visual field is a single phenomenological experience, but there are several aspects of the visual information that the visual system can employ to produce this phenomenon (Holway & Boring, 1941 and Coren & Ward, 1989). Similarly, self-esteem may be output as a single state of awareness, or “feeling”, but actually be a composite of the results from multiple sociometers. 1.1.1. Self-esteem and mate value One domain that would clearly be an evolutionarily significant area for monitoring and motivating corrective action (i.e. tied into the self-esteem sociometer system) is one's own mate value (see also Barkow, 1989, Henrick et al., 1993, Kiesler & Baral, 1970, Tooby & Cosmides, 1990 and Trivers, 1972). A person's mate value is a theoretically quantified estimate of how valuable that person would be as a partner in a reproductive relationship. As such, mate value is roughly measured operationally by estimates of “attractiveness” to members of the opposite sex. Many variables contribute to mate value, including physical, personality, and demographic factors (much of this work is summarized in Buss, 1999). Some aspects of mate value are idiosyncratic variations, such as in personality, physique, and other traits that vary within an otherwise uniform demographic population (e.g. fluctuating asymmetry and waist-to-hip ratio; Gangestead & Simpson, 2000 and Singh & Young, 1995). Other aspects of attractiveness and mate value vary systematically with population demographic variables. For example, males in general find younger reproductive-age females more attractive than older females (younger females have a larger portion of their reproductive potential remaining than older females; e.g. Buss, 1989 and Kenrick & Keefe, 1992). Females, in turn, find males somewhat older than themselves to be more attractive (older males tend to have more resources and status to help provide for offspring; e.g. Buss, 1989). 1.2. Age and sex Prior research on the individual effects of age and of sex on self-esteem have been inconclusive. Some studies have found higher levels of self-esteem for men, compared to women (Fahrenkamp, 2001 and Hong et al., 1993), but other studies have not found a sex difference (Sieber, 1997). Some studies have found higher levels of self-esteem for older people (Hong et al., 1993 and Woodard & Suddick, 1992), but other studies have not found an effect of age (Erdwins et al., 1981, Fahrenkamp, 2001 and Sieber, 1997). As major elements of mate value, age and sex would appear to be important likely variables regarding psychological outcomes such as self-worth and self-esteem, but their influence would perhaps be indirect rather than direct. Ben-Hamida, Mineka, and Bailey (1998) proposed that efforts to increase one's own mate value would have different emotional consequences for men and women. In particular, biological traits of youth and physical attractiveness—valued as traits in women by men—tend to be less controllable than status and power—traits valued in men by women. There is a negative correlation between age and physical attractiveness (Perlini, Marcello, Hansen, & Pudney, 2001), and although aging and many aspects of physical appearance are as uncontrollable for men as they are for women, the effects of aging are of much greater relevance to women's attractiveness and mate value. Feingold (1990) attributed women's preoccupation with their appearance as partly due to men's greater emphasis on youth and healthful appearance, while a man's aged appearance does not deter women to the same extent. Ben-Hamida et al., 1998 and Buss, 1994 also suggested that preferences for potential mates who are very desirable (i.e. of high mate value) have produced a motivation to appeal to members of the opposite sex. So, to increase chances of mating with highly desirable partners some individuals may seek to increase their mate value. Male attempts to boost their mate value should thus be more controllable and successful (on average) than women's attempts, as time and effort in a profession is likely to increase one's status and resources. On the other hand, the passage of time (past the age of reproductive maturity) has a negative effect on women's reproductive potential, and hence mate value and attractiveness. Repeated failures by women to enhance their mate value over time may lead to thoughts of uncontrollability, which can then lead to feelings of helplessness, anxiety, depression, and lowered self-esteem. Thus, somewhat paradoxically, greater efforts and emphasis on maintaining or increasing one's attractiveness can (eventually) have negative effects on women in terms of self-esteem. Subsequent research has been supportive of this general thesis. Self-perceived body image has been found to be predictive of self-esteem for women, but not for men (Wade & Cooper, 1999). Santor and Walker (1999) found that physical attractiveness (rated by an observer) was related to self-worth (which is strongly related to global measures of self-esteem), although their results were not broken down by sex. Furthermore, Santor and Walker found that the effect of attractiveness, as well as of dominance, on self-worth were mediated by the extent to which people believed that others were interested in them because of those attributes. Finally, Wade (2000) found specific physical features that were significant predictors of self-esteem for men and for women, but they were different features for the two sexes. Aspects of the body related to strength and dominance (reflexes and face) predicted male self esteem (adjusted R2=0.28), whereas aspects of the body related to fecundity (a sex appeal subscale) predicted female self-esteem (adjusted R2=0.25). 1.3. Marital status Another characteristic that is often used as a major demographic variable (in addition to sex and age) is marital status. Marital status is not directly linked to attractiveness and mate value in the way that age and sex are, but nevertheless may be a powerful indirect cue of mate value. For the outside observer, a person being married indicates that a person is more likely to have some value as a partner (after all, they are a partner to someone already). Moreover, one's own successful marriage may be used as a cue for assessing one's own mate value (e.g. via a sociometer process). Research on the relation between marriage or marital status and self-esteem is limited. Macdonald, Ebert, and Mason (1987) found that people in intact marriages (compared to divorced) had higher self-esteem, but Fahrenkamp (2001) found that martial status (separate from general perceived social support) was not predictive of self-esteem. Shackelford (2001) established significant effects of marital disharmony and conflict on self-esteem, which were predicted based on two evolutionary hypotheses. Firstly, it was hypothesized that self-esteem tracks costs inflicted by one's spouse. One particularly large cost a woman can inflict on her husband's self-esteem is sexual infidelity, and wives' sexual infidelity was found to be a strong predictor of low self-esteem in men. In contrast, spousal derogations of attractiveness was a better predictor of women's low self-esteem, which is consistent with the above results of Wade and Cooper (1999). Shackelford's second hypothesis was that self-esteem tracks one's own mate value. Self-esteem was measured using a four-dimensional model of global, physical, social, and intellectual self-esteem, and it was found that women's physical attractiveness correlated with physical, social and global self-esteem as predicted, whereas men's physical attractiveness correlated only with physical self-esteem. Marriages, of course, are not all the same. While there may be an overall effect of marital status on self-esteem, the quality of a marriage should also be an important element in mediating any effect of marriage on self-esteem. Indeed, a positive correlation has been demonstrated between global indexes of self-esteem and sexual and marital satisfaction (Roberts & Donahue, 1994). It has been suggested that marital satisfaction and dissatisfaction may function as psychological states that track costs and benefits of marriage (Shackleford & Buss, 1997 and Shackleford & Buss, 2000), which appears to overlap somewhat with social exchange/equity theories of relationship satisfaction and dissatisfaction (a positive correlation has been demonstrated between global indexes of self-esteem and sexual and marital satisfaction; Roberts & Donahue, 1994). The prior research by Shackelford, although important and useful, was based upon a sample of newlywed couples who had been married under a year. This makes his findings of limited use in discussions about the longer term effects of marriage (and indeed, of aging and marriage). Additionally, marital satisfaction was likely to have been particularly high in this sample—yielding a restricted range of scores—as the couples were in the “honeymoon period” of marriage. 1.4. Hypothesis and predictions The overall hypothesis of this study is that key demographic variables (i.e. sex, age, and marital status) will be systematically related to both people's rated mate value and the amount of effort they put into increasing their mate value. Furthermore, these two variables (mate value and mate value enhancement) should significantly predict levels of self-esteem. This hypothesis can be further broken down into specific predictions: 1. Mate value will decline with age for females, but increase with age for males. 2. Mate value will be higher for married people. 3. Efforts to enhance one's mate value will be greater for females than for males, and will be greater for single people than for married people. 4. Differences in mate value enhancement predicted above (3) will become larger with age 5. Self-esteem will be higher for those people who perceive themselves as having high mate value, and who spend less effort on mate value enhancement. 6. Self-esteem will be better predicted by mate value and mate value enhancement levels than by the demographic variables of age, sex, and marital status, and any effects of these demographic variables will be mediated to some extent by these two mate value measures.

نتیجه گیری انگلیسی

3. Results Scores from the Rosenberg self-esteem scale were calculated and these, along with responses from all the other questionnaire items, were entered into SPSS for analysis. Age was split into three categories: 18–25, 26–35, and 36+ years old. For clarity, scores on the mate value self-rating (on a scale of 1–9, with 1=Extremely desirable–9=Extremely undesirable) were reversed so that higher scores indicate higher mate value. 3.1. Mate value A 2×2×3 factorial ANOVA (Sex × marital status × age) found a strong main effect for marital status [F(1, 149)=7.115, P=0.008, Eta=0.046], in the predicted pattern of married participants rating themselves as having higher mate values (mean: 5.95) than those who were unmarried (mean: 5.25). A second significant main effect, for age [F(2, 149)=3.373, P=0.037, Eta=0.043] showing decreasing self-esteem with increasing age, appears to have been driven by an interaction between participant age and sex [F(2, 149)=3.664, P=0.028, Eta=0.047]. Fig. 1 shows that the nature of this interaction is largely as predicted: assessed mate value declines with age for females but increases with age for males (across the first two age categories). Not predicted was the subsequent drop in assessed mate value for males in the oldest group (over 36 years), compared to the 26 and 35 years old group. None of the other results of the analysis were statistically significant. Full-size image (22 K) Fig. 1. Significant interaction between age and sex of participants in self-assessments of their own desirability as a partner (i.e. mate value) (ratings reversed from original questionnaire, so that higher values indicate higher mate value estimates). Figure options 3.2. Efforts to enhance mate value Another 2×2×3 factorial ANOVA (Sex × marital status × age) was conducted, this time using as the dependent variable the amount of effort expended on increasing one's desirability (mate value enhancement). A strong main effect for sex of participant [F(1, 149)=66.929, P<0.001, Eta=0.310] and a sex × age interaction trend [not significant at the 0.05 level: F(2, 149)=2.695, P=0.071, Eta=0.035] revealed that women overall put more effort into enhancing their mate value and that, whereas women maintain this level of effort across the age ranges, men's efforts to enhance their mate values declines with age ( Fig. 2). Full-size image (18 K) Fig. 2. Significant main effect for sex and interaction trend for age and sex in rated amount of effort put into increasing one's own desirability (i.e. mate value enhancement). Figure options Significant main effects of both age [F(2, 149)=3.316, P=0.039, Eta=0.043] and marital status [F(1, 149)=9.101 P=0.003, Eta=0.058] were both produced by a significant interaction [F(2, 149)=9.433, P<0.001, Eta=0.112]. Fig. 3 illustrates that this interaction is produced by mate value enhancement efforts becoming more prevalent with age in single people, but much less prevalent with age in married people. None of the other results of the analysis were statistically significant. Full-size image (21 K) Fig. 3. Significant main effects and interaction between age and marital status in rated amount of effort put into increasing one's own desirability (i.e. mate value enhancement). Figure options 3.3. Self-esteem and mate value To assess the relationship between self-esteem and mate value assessment, efforts to increase mate value, and other variables in this study, bivariate and partial correlations were calculated for variables of interest. To clearly identify the most significant predictors of self-esteem, a stepwise multiple regression was performed (ratings of desirability, effort put into increasing desirability, and marital satisfaction were standardized, as they were rated on different scales). The multiple regression found that three variables significantly predicted self-esteem: mate value enhancement effort (negatively related), assessed mate value, and rated marital satisfaction (both positively related). These three variables combined accounted for about 23% of the variance in self-esteem (adjusted R2=0.228; see summary in Table 1). Collinearity diagnostics found no problems with multicollinearity, and an analysis of residuals found no significant outliers or violations of normality. Table 1. Multiple regression for variables predicting self-esteem scale scores Standardized coefficients Adjusted R square Correlations Beta t Sig. Zero-order Partial (Constant) 60.81 0.000 Effort into increasing desirability (mate value enhancement) −0.279 −2.35 0.022 0.110 −0.354 −0.305 Own desirability rating (mate value) −0.281 −2.39 0.020 0.176 −0.325 −0.309 Marital satisfaction 0.254 2.15 0.036 0.228 0.307 0.281 Table options In addition to the predictions that higher mate value and less effort on mate value enhancement would be significant predictors of higher self-esteem, it was predicted that these factors would to some extent mediate any predictive power of age, sex, and marital status. Age did not correlate with self-esteem (r=0.02), although age was significantly correlated with both mate-value (r=0.16, P=0.043) and mate value enhancement efforts (r=−0.18, P=0.019). A mediational model was therefore not constructed for the variable of age. Fig. 4a–b show the bivariate (zero-order) correlations between the remaining variables and partial correlations (second-order) between: (a) The demographic variables and self esteem, controlling for mate value ratings and mate value enhancement effort, and (b) the demographic variables and the mate value variables, controlling for the other demographic variables. The patterns of correlations indicate that: (a) sex is significantly correlated with self-esteem scores, but this relationship is almost entirely mediated by mate value and mate value enhancement effort; and (b) marital status is significantly correlated with self-esteem scores, and remains so even after a slight mediational influence is removed. Full-size image (12 K) Fig. 4. a–b. Correlations between participants' sex (a), and marital status (b) and self-assessed mate value, effort put into mate value enhancement, and self-esteem scores (correlations in brackets are second-order partial correlations, controlling for: (1) the other two demographic variables when assessing correlations to mate value variables, and (2) the mate value variables when assessing correlations with self-esteem scores).

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