The scar model suggests a causal effect of psychopathology on personality. It assumes that the experience of having suffered from a severe mental disorder such as a major depression leaves “scars” in individuals that have a lasting effect on personality such as low self-esteem. In this entry, the scar model is discussed with respect to the association between depression and self-esteem.
Personality and Psychopathology
A variety of theoretical models have been proposed to understand the associations between personality and psychopathology (Widiger and Smith 2008). Two competing albeit closely related models are particularly concerned with the directionality of causal effects between the constructs: the vulnerability model and the scar model. The vulnerability (or predisposition) model assumes causal effects of personality on psychopathology. It holds that personality plays a causal role in...
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Gana, K., Bailly, N., Saada, Y., Broc, G., & Alaphilippe, D. (2015). Relationship between self-esteem and depressive mood in old age: Results from a six-year longitudinal study. Personality and Individual Differences, 82, 169–174.
Klein, D. N., Kotov, R., & Bufferd, S. J. (2011). Personality and depression: Explanatory models and review of the evidence. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 7, 269–295.
Orth, U., & Robins, R. W. (2013). Understanding the link between low self-esteem and depression. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 22, 455–460.
Orth, U., Robins, R. W., & Roberts, B. W. (2008). Low self-esteem prospectively predicts depression in adolescence and young adulthood. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 695–708.
Orth, U., Robins, R. W., Trzesniewski, K. H., Maes, J., & Schmitt, M. (2009). Low self-esteem is a risk factor for depressive symptoms from young adulthood to old age. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 118, 472–478.
Rieger, S., Göllner, R., Trautwein, U., & Roberts, B. W. (2016). Low self-esteem prospectively predicts depression in the transition to young adulthood: A replication of Orth, Robins, and Roberts (2008). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 110, e16–e22.
Sowislo, J. F., & Orth, U. (2013). Does low self-esteem predict depression and anxiety? A meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. Psychological Bulletin, 139, 213–240.
Steiger, A. E., Allemand, M., Robins, R. W., & Fend, H. A. (2014). Low and decreasing self-esteem during adolescence predict adult depression two decades later. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 106, 325–338.
Steiger, A. E., Fend, H. A., & Allemand, M. (2015). Testing the vulnerability and scar models of self-esteem and depressive symptoms from adolescence to middle adulthood and across generations. Developmental Psychology, 51, 236–247.
Widiger, T. A., & Smith, G. T. (2008). Personality and psychopathology. In O. John, R. W. Robings, & L. Pervin (Eds.), Handbook of personality: Theory and research (3rd ed., pp. 743–769). New York: Guilford.
Zeigler-Hill, V. (2011). The connections between self-esteem and psychopathology. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 41, 157–164.
Editors and Affiliations
Section Editor information
© 2018 Springer International Publishing AG
About this entry
Cite this entry
Allemand, M., Grünenfelder-Steiger, A.E., Flückiger, C. (2018). Scar Model. In: Zeigler-Hill, V., Shackelford, T. (eds) Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_855-1
Publisher Name: Springer, Cham
Print ISBN: 978-3-319-28099-8
Online ISBN: 978-3-319-28099-8
eBook Packages: Springer Reference Behavioral Science and PsychologyReference Module Humanities and Social Sciences