Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




The first year of college is a significant life transition that can be a particularly stressful experience, which may lead to the development or exacerbation of depressive symptoms. Due to the considerable negative outcomes that are associated with depressive symptoms across the lifespan, it is important to understand the mechanisms and pathways through which such symptoms arise. This prospective study examines how self-esteem, perceived social support, and coping strategies are associated with the development of depressive symptoms during the transition to college. The findings of this longitudinal study indicate that self-esteem may affect both perceived social support and disengagement coping to subsequently predict depressive symptomatology. Furthermore, the association between self-esteem and perceived social support seems to be bidirectional, in that level of self-esteem may predict perceived social support, and vice versa. Disengagement coping also seems to be an underlying indicator of developing psychopathology, for individuals with high self-esteem as well as those with low self-esteem.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.