Understanding the link between low self-esteem and depression

Orth, Ulrich; Robins, Richard W. (2013). Understanding the link between low self-esteem and depression. Current directions in psychological science, 22(6), pp. 455-460. Sage 10.1177/0963721413492763

[img] Text
Orth_and_Robins_2013_CDPS.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (395kB) | Request a copy

Although it is well documented that low self-esteem and depression are related, the precise nature of the relation has been a topic of ongoing debate. We describe several theoretical models concerning the link between self-esteem and depression, and review recent research evaluating the validity of these competing models. Overall, the available evidence provides strong support for the vulnerability model (low self-esteem contributes to depression), weaker support for the scar model (depression erodes self-esteem), and little support for alternative accounts such as the diathesis-stress model. Moreover, the vulnerability model is robust and holds across gender, age, affective-cognitive versus somatic symptoms of depression, European background versus Mexican-origin participants, and clinical versus nonclinical samples. Research on further specifications of the vulnerability model suggests that the effect is (a) partially mediated by rumination, (b) not influenced by other characteristics of self-esteem (i.e., stability and contingency), and (c) driven predominantly by global rather than domain-specific self-esteem. The research has important theoretical implications because it counters the commonly repeated claim that self-esteem has no long-term impact. Moreover, the research has important practical implications, suggesting that depression can be prevented, or reduced, by interventions that improve self-esteem.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Developmental Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Orth, Ulrich

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology

ISSN:

0963-7214

Publisher:

Sage

Language:

English

Submitter:

Jeannine Sebel

Date Deposited:

17 Apr 2014 16:23

Last Modified:

17 Jul 2018 09:52

Publisher DOI:

10.1177/0963721413492763

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.43999

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/43999

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback