A Model of the Determinants and Mediational Role of Self-Worth: Implications for Adolescent Depression and Suicidal Ideation

  • Susan Harter
  • Donna B. Marold


In the words of one adolescent: I look in the mirror, and most days I don’t like what I see, I don’t like how I look, I don’t like myself as a person. So I get depressed, bummed out. Plus, my family has rejected me, and that makes me feel pretty lousy about myself. My mother is really on my case because I’m not living up to what she wants me to be. If I get A’s in school, she’s nice and is proud of me, but if I don’t, she doesn’t approve of me, you could say how she treats me is conditional on how I do. Mostly she tells me I’m a failure, and I’m beginning to believe it. Doing well in school has always been important to me, but now I feel like I’ll never amount to anything. There’s no way I’ll ever be able to please her, its pretty hopeless. I can’t expect anything from my family, they have totally rejected me. I don’t get much support from other kids either. I probably never will because I’m an introvert, I don’t even try to make friends. So a lot of the time, I get depressed, really bummed out. When I’m depressed I feel sad, becasue other people have hurt me, but I’m also angry at them too, for not caring, for rejecting me. I feel so depressed that I often think about just killing myself. Life is worthless. But so is death. So what’s the use.


Suicidal Ideation Parent Support Depressive Symptomatology Mediational Role Depressed Affect 
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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Harter
  • Donna B. Marold

There are no affiliations available

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