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Adolescent self-concept and health into adulthood

Jungwee Park

The gender gap emerges as an important issue in this article, which studies links between self-worth and sense of control in adolescence, and mental and physical health over the next several years. Health outcomes in young adulthood are analyzed in relation to positive and negative self-concept in adolescence, and differences between the sexes are highlighted.


  • Girls’ self-concept tends to be lower than that of boys.

  • A weak self-concept in 1994/95 was predictive of depression among girls, physical inactivity among boys, and obesity among both sexes.

  • A strong self-concept in adolescence had a positive long-term effect on girls’ self-perceived health.

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