DOI: 10.1177/08902070231197876 ISSN:

Spurious prospective effects between work experiences and self-esteem: A reanalysis of a meta-analysis of longitudinal studies

Kimmo Sorjonen, Marika Melin, Bo Melin
  • Social Psychology

A recent meta-analysis found reciprocal prospective effects between self-esteem and some aspects of work experience, for example, job satisfaction, and the authors concluded that their findings were consistent with a causal model, where self-esteem affects, and is affected by, work experiences. However, the prospective effects were estimated while adjusting for a prior measure of the outcome variable, and it is known that such adjusted cross-lagged effects may be spurious due to a correlation between the predictor and residuals in the initial measurement of the outcome and regression to the mean. The present reanalyses of the same meta-analytic data found all prospective effects between self-esteem and work experiences to be spurious. It is important for researchers to be aware of the limitations of adjusted cross-lagged effects in order not to overinterpret findings.

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