David Lee, a postdoctoral psychology fellow at Ohio State, recently had a study on self-esteem and social support published by Health Psychology. According to his research (co-authored by psychology professor Baldwin Way), individuals with low self-esteem do not reap the benefits of social interaction in comparison to peers who have high self-esteem.
Lee and Way measured participants' CRP levels- a protein in the blood that identify inflammation levels. Individuals with higher CRP levels are at greater risk to develop deadly diseases like cancer or heart disease. The results of the study indicated that individuals with "increased levels of social support were linked to lower levels of CRP...but only in individuals with higher self esteem." Lee argues this is due to the fact that people with low self-esteem may experience stress in situations where they are offered support from loved ones.
To read more of David Lee and Baldwin Way's research, click here.