NYMAG: How the Self-Esteem Craze Took Over America
Intense focus on self-esteem as a goal in and of itself in the 1980s and 1990s has had a long-lasting impact on every aspect of American life. The self-esteem craze changed how countless organizations were run, how an entire generation — millennials — was educated, and how that generation went on to perceive itself (quite favorably). As it turned out, the central claim underlying the trend, that there’s a causal relationship between self-esteem and various positive outcomes, was almost certainly inaccurate. Are we repeating our previous mistakes in thinking that one behavioral science catchphrase will help improve our youth? Is grit the new self-esteem?