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J Abnorm Psychol. 2009 Aug;118(3):472-8. doi: 10.1037/a0015922.

Low self-esteem is a risk factor for depressive symptoms from young adulthood to old age.

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1
Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis, California, USA. ulrich.orth@psy.unibe.ch

Abstract

Data from two large longitudinal studies were used to analyze reciprocal relations between self-esteem and depressive symptoms across the adult life span. Study 1 included 1,685 participants aged 18 to 96 years assessed 4 times over a 9-year period. Study 2 included 2,479 participants aged 18 to 88 years assessed 3 times over a 4-year period. In both studies, cross-lagged regression analyses indicated that low self-esteem predicted subsequent depressive symptoms, but depressive symptoms did not predict subsequent levels of self-esteem. This pattern of results replicated across all age groups, for both affective-cognitive and somatic symptoms of depression, and after controlling for content overlap between the self-esteem and depression scales. The results suggest that low self-esteem operates as a risk factor for depressive symptoms at all phases of the adult life span.

PMID:
19685945
DOI:
10.1037/a0015922
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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