The Role of Career Aspiration, Self-Esteem, Body Esteem, and Gender in Predicting Sense of Well-being Among Emerging Adults

Dorit Olenik-Shemesh, Tali Heiman, Noam S. Keshet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During emerging adulthood, one’s sense of well-being undergoes many rapid changes. Although emerging adults often present considerable energy, creativity, and hopefulness, both in higher education classrooms and workplaces, they often experience a decrease in well-being due to experience confusion, stress encounters, and difficulties in transitioning to adulthood. The authors examined four noteworthy key socioemotional factors that may be linked to emerging adults' sense of well-being: career aspiration, self-esteem, body esteem, and gender. Three hundred 20- to 29-year-old university students participated in the study. Results showed that well-being was correlated positively with self-esteem and body esteem, and body esteem was correlated negatively with gender (men scored higher). Regression analyses revealed that for both men and women, self-esteem and body esteem predicted well-being. Nevertheless, when the gender was analyzed separately, career aspiration predicted well-being only for men, whereas body esteem predicted well-being only for women. The study findings illuminates the importance of generating preventive measures in childhood and adolescence, through reinforcing skills such as resilience and self-esteem with the aim of passing through emerging adulthood with as little harm as possible to the sense of well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-356
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Genetic Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2 Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Emerging adults
  • body esteem
  • career aspiration
  • gender
  • self-esteem
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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