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ERIC Number: EJ1050334
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Feb
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Is Low Self-Esteem a Risk Factor for Depression? Findings from a Longitudinal Study of Mexican-Origin Youth
Orth, Ulrich; Robins, Richard W.; Widaman, Keith F.; Conger, Rand D.
Developmental Psychology, v50 n2 p622-633 Feb 2014
We examined the relation between low self-esteem and depression using longitudinal data from a sample of 674 Mexican-origin early adolescents who were assessed at age 10 and 12 years. Results supported the vulnerability model, which states that low self-esteem is a prospective risk factor for depression. Moreover, results suggested that the vulnerability effect of low self-esteem is driven, for the most part, by general evaluations of worth (i.e., global self-esteem), rather than by domain-specific evaluations of academic competence, physical appearance, and competence in peer relationships. The only domain-specific self-evaluation that showed a prospective effect on depression was honesty-trustworthiness. The vulnerability effect of low self-esteem held for male and female adolescents, for adolescents born in the United States versus Mexico, and across different levels of pubertal status. Finally, the vulnerability effect held when we controlled for several theoretically relevant 3rd variables (i.e., social support, maternal depression, stressful events, and relational victimization) and for interactive effects between self-esteem and the 3rd variables. The present study contributes to an emerging understanding of the link between self-esteem and depression and provides much needed data on the antecedents of depression in ethnic minority populations.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institute on Drug Abuse (DHHS/PHS)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale; Self Description Questionnaire
Grant or Contract Numbers: DA017902