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Definition of Self-Esteem

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Updated October 03, 2011

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Self-esteem is a concept used to describe a personality variable that captures the way a person generally feels about herself, or the way a person may evaluate her abilities and attributes.

Self-esteem ranges from very high to extremely low. A person with high self-esteem generally has a fondness or love for herself, whereas a person with low self-esteem may have negative feelings toward herself.

Depression can lower a child's self-esteem.

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