Skip to the main content

Original scientific paper

Short-Term Effects of Fluctuations in Self-Esteem, Perceived Stress and Loneliness on Depressive States

Lisa Di Blas orcid id ; University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy
Matteo Borella ; University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy
Donatella Ferrante ; University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy

Full text: english pdf 378 Kb

page 99-114

downloads: 464



Depression depends on risk factors such as loneliness, low self-esteem, and perceived stress when inter-individual differences are investigated in the long run. Depression, however, oscillates within-person over short-time periods as well, but there is a lack of evidence on its temporary correlates. The present study explored how transitory feelings of depression covariate with states of loneliness, stress, and self-esteem at the within-person level, further inspecting how inter-individual differences contribute to understanding intra-individual dynamics. Seventy-four adults (M = 33 years) took part in the study and reported on daily depression, stress, loneliness, and self-esteem for eight successive evenings. The main results showed that within-person fluctuations in depression depended on transient changes in loneliness, self-esteem, and stress, with stress further moderating the depression-self-esteem association; the link between depression and its predictors was reciprocal; inter-individual differences in depression instability across the assessment occasions enhanced the effect of transitory loneliness on feelings of depression. The present findings revealed that within-person associations for depression reflect correlation patterns between people, further highlighting how an individual’s instability in depressive states is relevant for understanding who is more vulnerable to transitory depressive states, which might develop into trait-like conditions over longer time periods.


depression; self-esteem; fluctuations; dynamics; diathesis-stress model

Hrčak ID:



Publication date:


Visits: 1.332 *