Self-esteem and Materialism in Adolescents
BY: Benny Chung
Mar 17, 2022

Self-determination theory holds that the importance attached to the pursuit of intrinsic and extrinsic goals is related to the wellbeing of an individual, whereas intrinsic goals satisfy basic psychological needs and extrinsic goals, also known as materialistic goals, refer to focusing on making an impression on others. The theory assumes that the pursuit of extrinsic goals is problematic only when they are considered more important than intrinsic goals. It has been reported that psychological health of teens is negatively correlated with striving for materialistic goals. A recent study examining the role of self-esteem in resisting the influence of materialistic goals of four social role models (mother, father, peers, and media) in adolescents indicated a significant interaction effect of self-esteem and the materialism of peers on the materialism of teens, whereas the interaction effects of parents and media were not significant. Moreover, the results further showed that the self-esteem of teens may have an important role in resisting the influence of materialistic role models of peers.



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