Compensating, resisting, and breaking: a meta-analytic examination of reactions to self-esteem threat.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Much research has identified how people react to receiving threatening information about the self. The purpose of this article is to discuss such experiences in the context of a model of state self-esteem regulation. The authors propose that people engage in one of three regulatory responses to threat: compensation, resistance, and breaking. They conduct a meta-analysis aimed to examine when people engage in each of these three responses to threat and how trait self-esteem affects the selection and success of selecting each regulatory response. Furthermore, the authors test six theoretical models that might explain why responses to ego threat vary across level of trait self-esteem. The models for differences between people with low and high trait self-esteem that fit the data best suggest that (a) self-esteem serves as a resource and (b) there is a self-verification motivation.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • vanDellen, MR; Campbell, WK; Hoyle, RH; Bradfield, EK

Published Date

  • February 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 15 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 51 - 74

PubMed ID

  • 20631397

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-7957

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1088-8683

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/1088868310372950


  • eng