Self-esteem and depression in rural poor women

Fuller, Claire Ellen, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Hauenstein, Emily, School of Nursing, University of Virginia
Moss, Susan, University of Virginia
Sheras, Peter, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Sowa, Claudia, University of Virginia

Factors associated with poor self-esteem and depressive disorders in a sample of 64 rural impoverished women in Virginia were investigated. A stress-diathesis model of associations among sociodemographic variables, history of abuse, self-esteem, negative life events, negative attributions, social support, marital adjustment, and depression was hypothesized.

Based on a structured clinical diagnostic interview (DIS), subjects were classified as meeting criteria for major depression, minor depression, or no psychiatric diagnosis (control group). Using logistic regression modeling, the major depression and control groups were compared. Due to the small sample size, the full model could not be tested adequately with these data. Significant associations emerged, however, which lend support to parts of the proposed model.

Membership in the major depression group was associated with a high level of negative life events in the last year, low self-esteem, poor marital adjustment, and history of physical and sexual abuse. The combination of negative life events and self-esteem correctly classified approximately 85% of cases as depressed or not depressed. Low self-esteem was associated with history of abuse and poor marital adjustment.

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PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
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