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Low Self-Esteem Can Threaten Health, Online Dating Study Finds
Date:3/18/2010

Low self-esteem doesn’t just impact the way people perceive negative events – it can actually take a toll on health, according to a new study co-authored by a Loyola Marymount University professor.

Los Angeles, CA (Vocus) March 18, 2010 -- Low self-esteem doesn’t just impact the way people perceive negative events – it can actually take a toll on health, according to a new study co-authored by a Loyola Marymount University professor.

LMU’s Máire Ford, an assistant professor of psychology, and Nancy Collins, a professor of psychology at UC Santa Barbara, conducted a study that measured how people with varying levels of self-esteem react to rejection. Not only were those with lower self-esteem (as determined by a questionnaire) more likely to negatively interpret rejecting events, but they also reacted physiologically by producing more stress hormones than people with higher levels of self-esteem.

“The main implication is that an individual’s self-esteem can act as a lens through which they interpret their environment, subsequently affecting not only their thoughts and their feelings, but their health as well,” Ford said.

In the study, participants prepared for an online chat with an attractive member of the opposite sex, whom they believed to be in the next room. In fact there was no other participant in the study. Participants saw a picture and bio of the other individual and were told that the other individual was viewing their picture and reading about them. But immediately before the online chat was supposed to begin, the researcher delivered the news that the other participant opted to leave the study.

“High self-esteem people were very resilient when they learned that the other person discontinued participation in the study. They just figured the other person was busy or had other things
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