A prospective study of self-esteem and depression: The impact of self-esteem lability, domain-specific self-esteem, and personal relevance.

Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name





Psychology, Clinical.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


The current study attempts to clarify the inconsistent relationship between self-esteem and prediction of depression by using a multidimensional conceptualization of self-esteem. Variables chosen to represent this multidimensional view of self-esteem were global self-esteem level, self-esteem lability, domain specific sources of self-esteem (social, performance, and appearance self-esteem), and the personal relevance of sources of self-esteem. Hypotheses followed a diathesis-stress model in which, following the occurrence of adverse events, those participants with higher levels of self-esteem lability and fewer sources of self-esteem rated as relevant to those individual's overall self-concept would show greater vulnerability to depression over a six-week period. Similar to the work of Roberts and Kassels (1997), it was found that self-esteem lability was a reliable predictor of depression in participants that were initially non-depressed, but not for individuals with depression at the outset of the study. However, support for a diathesis-stress model was not confirmed, with self-esteem lability having a direct predictive effect on depression without interaction with adverse events. Further, perceived importance of self-esteem sources, rather than number of sources, was found to have important implications for self-esteem lability and prediction of depression. Lastly, only social self-esteem demonstrated a reliable relationship with lability and depression. Results are held to be supportive of a multidimensional model of self-esteem and are briefly discussed with reference to gender issues and research on social support.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2005 .T465. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 66-11, Section: B, page: 6297. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2005.

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