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Self-esteem and depression. IV. Effect on course and recovery.

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  • 1Department of Social Policy and Social Science, Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, University of London, England.


The present paper, the fourth and last in a series examining the role of self-esteem in depressive disorder in the general population, deals with recovery/improvement from a disorder at a case level. Both positive evaluation of self (PES) and absence of negative evaluation of self (NES) measured during a chronic episode are related to subsequent recovery or improvement. A causal effect is suggested since the measure adds over and above to that of environmental factors previously established to relate to recovery/improvement--the reduction of an ongoing difficulty or fresh-start event. Positive evaluation of self was also related to recovery/improvement from subsequent onsets of case depression. In this instance, unlike that for the chronic conditions, self-esteem was measured outside the episode of depression. A causal effect was also suggested because it made an independent contribution vis-a-vis the effect of fresh-start events. Given the small size of the sample the study should be seen as an exploratory one.

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