Self-Esteem and Depression Among Children

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Low self-esteem and depression among children can often lead to a difficult adult life. If these conditions are not dealt with properly during the early years, they can cause problems in the child’s personal relationships, as well as in their future professional careers. In order to help these affected children deal with these problems, it is often important for parents and concerned adults to know what causes these conditions and how they can develop.

Low Self-Esteem Among Children

Self-esteem is the defined as how an individual, child or adult appraises his or her own worth. It is said that a person’s self-esteem starts to develop in infancy.

The typical factors that contribute to the development of low self-esteem include the lack of encouragement and appreciation from people who matter most to children, such as their parents, siblings, relatives, teachers and friends. The lack of affirmation and positive feedback from loved ones can often cause children’s self esteem to spiral downward. For instance, when children do not receive appreciation for good behavior or good grades that they have achieved, they may think that they are not good enough for anything. These feelings can make it difficult for them to develop confidence in themselves and so they may not try to achieve more.

Other factors that affect a child’s self-esteem include:

  • the lack of love expressed by other people

  • the lack of challenging situations that may provide them with new experiences

  • an overwhelming amount of failure whether it is in school or at home

  • the lack of appreciation from other people for the things they do

  • the constant comparison with some of their peers which may often lead the individual child to conclude that they are the inferior one.

Depression Among Children

Depression among children may not only cause them to be sad most of the time, but in extreme cases it can lead some to attempt suicide. A number of different factors can lead to childhood depression.

  • the loss of one or both parents early in life

  • a family history of mental illness

  • abandonment due to parent’s divorce

  • experience sexual, physical or emotional abuse during childhood

  • chemical imbalance in the brain

  • long-term illness

The causes of depression in children often vary between each child; there may just be one specific cause or the depression could be due to a combination of several of these factors.

Additional Notes

Low self-esteem can also contribute to the development of depression. The two conditions often go hand in hand especially in children from poor family backgrounds. If low self-esteem and depression among children persist into adulthood, they can put future relationships at risk and careers in jeopardy.


Depression in Children:

Self-Esteem and Children:

Low Self-Esteem: