Effects of social support and self-esteem on depressive symptoms in Japanese middle-aged and elderly people

J Epidemiol. 2000 Apr;10(1 Suppl):S63-9. doi: 10.2188/jea.10.1sup_63.


We examined the relationship among social support, self-esteem, and depression. The subjects were 1,116 Japanese community-dwelling adults aged between 40-79, who were the first wave participants of the National Institute for Longevity Sciences--Longitudinal Study of Aging (NILS-LSA). Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were performed on the Rosenberg's self-esteem scale that supported the superiority of the bi-dimensional structure of the scale marked by self-confidence and self-deprecation subscales. The subsequent causal analyses, using structural equation modeling, demonstrated that social support reduced depressed affect through an increase in self-confidence and a decrease in self-deprecation. By contrast, social support did not show a direct effect on depressed affect. The findings suggest the importance of esteem-improving elements of social support in reducing depressive symptoms.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Self Concept*
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Support*