Dr. Young's LabSelf-esteem as a mediator in the relationship between self-perceived physical attractiveness and depression
Julie Kabat Friedman
Low self-perceived physical attractiveness (SPA) has been implicated as a factor that facilitates and predicts depressive symptomatology. The present study tested the hypothesis that the relationship between SPA and depression is mediated by self-esteem. Twenty-three depressed inpatients completed 7-8 ratings of SPA and two components of self-esteem on each of 5-9 days. Results suggest that, because the effects of SPA on depression were completely mediated by self-esteem, SPA is a more distal precursor of depression than previous research has noted. Also, because only one aspect of self-esteem mediated the relationship between SPA and depression, this study provides support for the idea that different aspects of self-esteem are related to depression in different ways.