The History and Timing of Depression Onset as Predictors of Young Adult Self-Esteem

Gayman, M. D.,
Lloyd, D. A.,
Ueno, K.
Journal Article
Year Published: 2010
Journal of Research on Adolescence , 21(3): 691-702, 2010
National Institute on Drug Abuse grants (RO1 DA10772 and RO1 DA17693)

These authors examined the relationship between a history of major depression and self-esteem in young adulthood. They also assessed whether the timing of depression onset predicts young adult self-esteem, and explored the alternative interpretation that the relationship between major depression and self-esteem is due to state dependence bias stemming from recent depressive symptoms and stressful life events. In a community sample of young adults from Miami-Dade County, Florida (n=1,197), a history of major depression during sensitive periods of social development was associated with negative changes in self-esteem during the transition to young adulthood. Among those with a history of depression, earlier onset was more problematic than later onset, although the difference disappeared after controlling for prior level of self-esteem. Associations of the history and timing of depression onset with self-esteem were observed net of recent depressive symptoms and stressful life events, and thus support the alternative interpretation of state dependence. Modified Author Abstract.

Correspondence to: Mathew D. Gayman P.O. Box 5020, Atlanta, GA 30302-5020; E-mail:; Website:
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