This study examines the possibility of applying Tesser's (1988) Self-Evaluation Maintenance Model, which focuses on self-esteem, to individual psychological health in interpersonal contexts. The participants consist of 243 college students divided into same-sex friendship pairs. The main findings show that when comparing oneself with an close friend in a domain one finds important, positive self-perception is more closely related to psychological health than a positive perception of the friend. In domains not important to the self, no relationship between psychological health and self-perception was found, regardless of the degree of intimacy. These results indicate that the degree of intimacy with the compared person and the degree of importance ascribed to the aspect being compared are connected with individual psychological health. These findings are discussed in relationship to application of the Self-Evaluation Maintenance Model to psychological health.
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