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Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Clinical Psychology (MSCP)

Committee Chair

Catherine Miller, PhD


The theory of threatened egotism predicts that individuals with high self-esteem are more likely to be aggressive and violent than their low self-esteem counterparts. This review traced the evolution of the theory of threatened egotism, critically analyzed pertinent research articles, provided criticism for problematic methodological issues, and recommended areas for future research. The articles reviewed here provided evidence and support for the ability of threatened egotism to predict aggression. High self-esteem alone was not found to be a reliable predictor of aggression, but high unstable self-esteem was linked to aggression behavior. Underlying mechanisms that create unstable self-esteem were also explored.