Do depressive symptoms erode self-esteem in early adolescence? Academic Article uri icon


  • We hypothesized that in early—but not mid or late—adolescence, self-esteem is malleable (i.e., rank-order instable) and is particularly susceptible to the effect of depressive symptoms. Results of a latent variable, cross-lagged, structural equation modeling analysis of data from the first two waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health; N = 4520) were consistent with the two hypotheses. Findings highlight the need to utilize a developmental framework when examining the effect of depression on self-esteem, and allude to the potentially deleterious effect of depression vis-a-vis self-development during early adolescence.

publication date

  • January 1, 2010