Low Self Esteem Statistics & Symptoms

Low Self Esteem and Low Self Confidence: Symptoms and Statistics— There’s so much information out there about self-esteem and some of it is quite useful while some of it is not. While researching low self-esteem statistics and symptoms, I came upon some very interesting and informative facts about low self-esteem in adolescents and in adults. Insightful -- and even some shocking! -- statistics & symptoms of low self-esteem and confidence.

In this article, I share with you what I found to be the most insightful — and in certain cases, shocking! — information on self-esteem and confidence.

Self Esteem Statistics

  • “Girls’ self-esteem peaks when they are 9 years old, then takes a nose dive,” clinical psychologist Robin F. Goodman writes on the New York University Child Study Center Web site.
  • Seventy-five percent of 8- and 9-year-olds who said they liked their looks. That figure dropped to 56 percent among girls ages 12 and 13.
  • Nine — Age at which at least half of all girls report having been on a diet. Eighty percent of eighth-grade girls say they are on diets.
  • Seven million girls and women who have eating disorders, compared with 1 million boys and men. Ten percent report onset at 10 years or younger; 33 percent ages 11 to 15.
  • Twenty percent College-aged women in America are bulimic.
  • Girls who watch TV commercials featuring underweight models lose self-confidence and become more dissatisfied with their own bodies (SOURCE: Dove Campaign, “Dove Campaign for Real Beauty to Help Foster Self-Esteem in Girls”.
  • One-third of all girls in grades nine to 12 think they are overweight, and 60 percent are trying to lose weight. (Quoting the Girl Scout Research Institute, 2002-2004).
  • Three-fourths of girls with low self-esteem engage in negative activities, such as disordered eating, bullying, smoking or drinking.
  • Only 2% of women think they are beautiful.
  • 78% of girls with low self-esteem admit that it is hard to feel good in school when you do not feel good about how you look (compared to 54% of girls with high self-esteem).

Low Self Esteem Symptoms

Below is what I feel is a comprehensive list of low self-esteem symptoms.  (Source: self-confidence.co.uk)

  1. Social withdrawal
  2. Anxiety and emotional turmoil
  3. Lack of social skills and self confidence. Depression and/or bouts of sadness
  4. Less social conformity
  5. Eating disorders
  6. Inability to accept compliments
  7. An Inability to see yourself ‘squarely’ – to be fair to yourself
  8. Accentuating the negative
  9. Exaggerated concern over what you imagine other people think
  10. Self neglect
  11. Treating yourself badly but NOT other peopleLow Self Esteem Statistics & Symptoms
  12. Worrying whether you have treated others badly
  13. Reluctance to take on challenges
  14. Reluctance to put yourself first or anywhere.
  15. Reluctance to trust your own opinion
  16. Expecting little out of life for yourself.

Healthy Self-Esteem

According to the National Association for Self Esteem, people who have high self esteem typically possess 7 desirable traits.

  1. Are friendly.
  2. Have lots of energy.
  3. Smile lots and lots and lots.
  4. Feel good most of the time.
  5. Talk positively to themselves.
  6. Draw positive people to them.
  7. Are independent and able to take risks.

Moreover, a study released by the University of Florida (May 2007) reports that people who have high opinions of themselves as teenagers and young adults earn more money than their less confident counterparts. READ THIS! A clear correlation exists between self-esteem and monetary achievement.

So, as you can see, self-esteem does indeed have a major impact on many areas of one’s life.

To get some awesome ideas of exactly how to build great self-confidence and self-esteem, I invite you to read our article about how journaling can build self-confidence in pre-teens (just remember that this advice is good for women and girls of any age!).

Low self-esteem and self-confidence are serious issues that can have significant and long-term negative effects on a person’s life. So, please, please, please take steps today and every day to strengthen your self-esteem.  And, take daily action as well to help improve the self-esteem of your loved ones.

Here’s to improved self-esteem in everyone!

Ever so kindly,
Jill Schoenberg

Read About Why Jill Created the Girls Self Esteem Journal


Insightful -- and even some shocking! -- statistics & symptoms of low self-esteem and confidence.