Components of self-esteem in affective patients and non-psychiatric controls

Alessandro Serretti, Paolo Olgiati, Cristina Colombo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Decrease in self-esteem (SE) is found in all mood disorders during inter-episode phases. This trait was associated with relapse and suicidality but its genetic basis is still undefined, probably because SE has multiple components. The aim of the current study was to ascertain which of those components were altered in a sample of affective patients. Three hundred and thirty-one outpatients with bipolar (N = 199) and major depressive MD (N = 132) disorders in remission for at least three months and one hundred controls completed the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale (RSE; [Rosenberg, M., 1965. The measurement of self-esteem, Society and the Adolescent Self-Image. Princeton University Press, pp.16-36]). Principal component analysis was performed to identify RSE factor structure. Extracted factors were compared across case and control groups in the whole sample (N = 431) and in a sub-sample (N = 301) with low self-esteem (RSE <20). PCA yielded a two-factor solution with self-confidence (SC) and self-deprecation (SD) that was largely consistent with the existing literature. Such factors were both associated with lower scores in affective patients than controls (SC: F = 52, p <0.01; SD: F = 43, p <0.01). However in the low RSE group only self-confidence was found to be decreased in subjects with mood disorders (SC: F = 13.8, p <0.01; SD: F = 0.05, p = 0.9). These findings suggest that self-esteem deficit in affective disorders might involve specific components. Implications for research and clinical practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-98
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2005


  • Bipolar disorders
  • Factor analysis
  • Major depression
  • Self-esteem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Neurology
  • Psychology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Components of self-esteem in affective patients and non-psychiatric controls'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this