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While self-esteem can be impacted by the start or end of a relationship, a new study finds men and women arrive at it in different ways.
For the research, which appeared in the journal Psychological Science, both men and women were surveyed on how self-esteem is influenced under various relationship scenarios.
Participants were also asked to imagine their own relationship ending and evaluate how their self-esteem would be impacted by such a split.
In hypothetical situations, men were found to depend less on a relationship for self-worth compared to women.
However, when asked about their own relationships, men reported a greater dependence on the union to determine their personal self-esteem.
“Men reported a greater dependence on a
relationship to determine their self-esteem.”
While both genders were found to rely on their relationship for self-esteem, for women it is gained through their loving connection with their partner.
Men were found to worry more about a loss of social standing should a breakup occur.
“Men and women alike indicated that men are less reliant on relationships as a source of self-worth than are women,” researchers wrote.
However, “Men reported basing their self-esteem on their own relationship status (whether or not they were in a relationship) more than did women, and this link was statistically mediated by the perceived importance of relationships as a source of social standing,” they added.
Lead author Dr. Tracy Kwang, a social psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin, said the relationship was found to be much more of a marker of stability and standing for men.
“Men immediately became concerned with achievement, while women immediately turned their attention to connection,” she said.
From: Psychological Science.