Using the National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth 1979, this study examines the roles of alcohol and substance use as mediators in the mechanism between self-esteem and depression, and investigates whether the mechanism works for both men and women. Results demonstrate that alcohol and substance use during young adulthood mediates the effect of self-esteem on depression among men. Furthermore, self-esteem during young adulthood remains a determinant of high depression in middle adulthood. However, we did not find evidence to support that same mechanism among women. Our findings provide insight into how self-esteem affects depression over the transition from young to middle adulthood, and elucidate potential gendered responsivity to low self-esteem.
- Alcohol and substance use
- long-term effect
- mediation analysis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science