The degree of a person's self-esteem was found to be significantly related to how he views his own future. This finding was derived from (1) correlating semantic differential scores for self-esteem and future outlook taken from 50 subjects (30 normals and 20 psychiatric patients) each tested at one period of time, and (2) correlating changes in self-esteem with changes in future outlook within each of six acutely ill psychiatric patients studied intensively over time. The latter method indicates that the process of change in self-esteem is dynamically related to changes in future outlook, and thereby suggests that low self-esteem may be treated by influencing attitudes toward the personal future.
Melges FT, Anderson RE, Kraemer HC, Tinklenberg JR, Weisz AE. The Personal Future and Self-Esteem. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1971;25(6):494-497. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1971.01750180014003