Self-esteem of young adults with chronic health conditions: Appraising the effects of perceived impact

Henry T. Ireys, Susan Shapiro Gross, Lisa A. Werthamer-Larsson, Kenneth B. Kolodner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The relationships between selected condition characteristics and self-esteem were investigated in a randomly drawn, community-based sample of 286 young adults with chronic illnesses and disabilities. Whether appraisals of the impact of the condition mediated relationships between condition characteristics and self-esteem, as measured by the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, was also measured. As a group, the youth in this sample reported positive self-esteem. When sociodemographic and condition-related variables were considered simultaneously, maternal education, unpredictability of symptoms, prognosis, sensory impairment, and the presence of a co-occurring learning disability were found to have direct effects on esteem. Perceived impact mediated the relationship between condition characteristics and self-esteem. The results are discussed in relation to the role of impact appraisal in determining the emotional well-being of young adults with chronic illnesses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-415
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1994


  • Chronic illness
  • Cognitive appraisal
  • Disabilities
  • Self-esteem
  • Young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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