self-esteem; depression; stressful events; longitudinal research; structural equation modeling
Erol R. Y., Orth U. (2014), Development of self-esteem and relationship satisfaction in couples: Two longitudinal studies, in Developmental Psychology
, 50, 2291-2303.
Orth U., Robins R. W., Widaman K. F., Conger R. D. (2014), Is low self-esteem a risk factor for depression? Findings from a longitudinal study of Mexican-origin youth, in Developmental Psychology
, 50, 622-633.
Orth U., Robins R. W. (2014), The development of self-esteem, in Current Directions in Psychological Science
, 23, 381-387.
Sowislo J. F., Orth U., Meier L. L. (2014), What constitutes vulnerable self-esteem? Comparing the prospective effects of low, unstable, and contingent self-esteem on depressive symptoms, in Journal of Abnormal Psychology
, 123, 737-753.
Erol R. Y., Orth U. (2013), Actor and partner effects of self-esteem on relationship satisfaction and the mediating role of secure attachment between the partners, in Journal of Research in Personality
, 47, 26-35.
Sowislo J. F., Orth U. (2013), Does low self-esteem predict depression and anxiety? A meta-analysis of longitudinal studies, in Psychological Bulletin
, 139, 213-240.
Kuster F., Orth U., Meier L. L. (2013), High self-esteem prospectively predicts better work conditions and outcomes, in Social Psychological and Personality Science
, 4, 668-675.
Orth U. (2013), How large are actor and partner effects of personality on relationship satisfaction? The importance of controlling for shared method variance, in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
, 39, 1359-1372.
Kuster F., Orth U. (2013), The long-term stability of self-esteem: Its time-dependent decay and nonzero asymptote, in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
, 39, 677-690.
Orth U., Robins R. W. (2013), Understanding the link between low self-esteem and depression, in Current Directions in Psychological Science
, 22, 455-460.
Orth U., Robins R. W., Widaman K. F. (2012), Life-span development of self-esteem and its effects on important life outcomes, in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
, 102, 1271-1288.
Kuster F., Orth U., Meier L. L. (2012), Rumination mediates the prospective effect of low self-esteem on depression: A five-wave longitudinal study, in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
, 38, 747-759.
Meier L. L., Orth U., Denissen J. J. A., Kühnel A. (2011), Age differences in instability, contingency, and level of self-esteem across the life span, in Journal of Research in Personality
, 45, 604-612.
Erol R. Y., Orth U. (2011), Self-esteem development from age 14 to 30 years: A longitudinal study, in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
, 101, 607-619.
Orth U., Robins R. W., Soto C. J. (2010), Tracking the trajectory of shame, guilt, and pride across the life span, in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
, 99, 1061-1071.
A growing body of research has documented that low self-esteem predicts subsequent levels of depression, but depression does not predict subsequent levels of low self-esteem. Yet, little is known about the specific conditions that mediate or moderate the effects of low self-esteem on depression. Moreover, most previous prospective studies examined effects across long periods of time (e.g., years). However, from a theoretical perspective, it is also important to understand how the processes linking self-esteem and depression play out over shorter periods.This research program addresses these gaps through three longitudinal studies. Study 1 will test alternative hypotheses about psychological processes that mediate the prospective effects of low self-esteem on depression. Possible mediators are both intrapersonal (e.g., rumination) and interpersonal (e.g., social avoidance) psychological processes. For the analyses, longitudinal data will be collected from a sample of college students, including five repeated assessments over a 2-year period. Study 2 will examine short-term prospective effects between low self-esteem and depression with a high temporal resolution. Moreover, mediators (i.e., the same processes as in Study 1) and moderators (e.g., stressful events) of these effects will be tested. For the analyses, data will be collected on 60 consecutive days from an adult sample of the general population. Study 3 will test whether contingent self-esteem, the tendency for self-esteem levels to fluctuate repeatedly in response to external feedback, influences depression independently of low self-esteem. Contingent self-esteem will be assessed using an objective measurement approach. The analyses will be based on the daily assessment data from Study 2 in conjunction with a baseline and a 6-month follow-up assessment of the sample.The results of the research described in this proposal will inform both theory (personality and social psychology) and applied fields (education and clinical psychology). The overall aim of the proposed studies is to better understand how, when, why, and for whom low self-esteem serves as a risk factor for the development of high levels of depressive symptoms and, possibly, depressive disorders. In addition to Studies 1 to 3 described in this proposal, the time schedule will allow for conducting other studies on related topics, using already available data sets. Moreover, the data collected for this project will allow addressing further relevant research questions. I am applying for a Swiss National Science Foundation professorship for four years. I will use the requested funds to conduct the research program together with three Ph.D. students at the Department of Psychology at the University of Basel.