The Longitudinal Association Between Self-esteem and Depressive Symptoms in Adolescents: Separating Between-Person Effects from Within-Person Effects

M. Masselink*, E. Van Roekel, B. L. Hankin, L. Keijsers, G. M.A. Lodder, J. Vanhalst, M. Verhagen, J. F. Young, A. J. Oldehinkel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many longitudinal studies have investigated whether self-esteem predicts depressive symptoms (vulnerability model) or the other way around (scar model) in adolescents. The most common method of analysis has been the cross-lagged panel model (CLPM). The CLPM does not separate between-person effects from within-person effects, making it unclear whether the results from previous studies actually reflect the within-person effects or whether they reflect differences between people. We investigated the associations between self-esteem and depressive symptoms at the within-person level, using random intercept cross-lagged panel models (RI-CLPMs). To get an impression of the magnitude of possible differences between the RI-CLPM and the CLPM, we compared the results of both models. We used data from three longitudinal adolescent samples (age range: 7–18 years; study 1: N = 1948; study 2: N = 1455; study 3: N = 316). Intervals between the measurements were 1–1.5 years. Single-paper meta-analyses showed support for small within-person associations from self-esteem to depressive symptoms, but not the other way around, thus only providing some support for the vulnerability model. The cross-lagged associations in the aggregated RI-CLPM and CLPM showed similar effect sizes. Overall, our results show that over 1- to 1.5-year time intervals, low self-esteem may negatively influence depressive symptoms over time within adolescents, but only weakly so.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-671
Number of pages19
JournalEuropean Journal of Personality
Volume32
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research reported in this publication was supported by a Vici grant (016.001/002) from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research to A. J. Oldehinkel. Research reported in study 1 was supported by a Veni grant (451-12-038) from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research to M. Verhagen. Funding for the results of study 2 was provided by grant OT/08/013 of the Research Council, KU Leuven. Research reported in study 3 was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health grants, R01MH077195, R01MH105501, and R21MH102210, awarded to B. L. Hankin and R01MH077178 to J. F. Young.

Funding Information:
Research reported in this publication was supported by a Vici grant (016.001/002) from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research to A.?J. Oldehinkel. Research reported in study 1 was supported by a Veni grant (451-12-038) from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research to M. Verhagen. Funding for the results of study 2 was provided by grant OT/08/013 of the Research Council, KU Leuven. Research reported in study 3 was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health grants, R01MH077195, R01MH105501, and R21MH102210, awarded to B.?L. Hankin and R01MH077178 to J.?F. Young.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Authors. European Journal of Personality published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of European Association of Personality Psychology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The Longitudinal Association Between Self-esteem and Depressive Symptoms in Adolescents: Separating Between-Person Effects from Within-Person Effects'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this