The nature of self-esteem and its relationship to anxiety and depression in adult acquired brain injury

Catherine Longworth, Joseph Deakins, David Rose, Fergus Gracey

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12 Citations (Scopus)
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Acquired brain injury (ABI) has a negative impact on self-esteem, which is in turn associated with mood disorders, maladaptive coping and reduced community participation. The aim of the current research was to explore self-esteem as a multi-dimensional construct and identify which factors are associated with symptoms of anxiety or depression. Eighty adults with ABI aged 17–56 years completed the Robson Self-Esteem Scale (RSES), of whom 65 also completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale; 57.5% of the sample had clinically low self-esteem. The RSES had good internal consistency (α = .89), and factor analysis identified four factors, which differed from those found previously in other populations. Multiple regression analysis revealed anxiety was differentially predicted by “Self-Worth” and “Self-Efficacy”, R2 = .44, F(4, 58) = 9, p < .001, and depression by “Self-Regard”, R2 = .38, F(4, 58) = 9, p < .001. A fourth factor, “Confidence”, did not predict depression or anxiety. In conclusion, the RSES is a reliable measure of self-esteem after ABI. Self-esteem after ABI is multidimensional and differs in structure from self-esteem in the general population. A multidimensional model of self-esteem may be helpful in development of transdiagnostic cognitive behavioural accounts of adjustment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1078-1094
Number of pages7
JournalNeuropsychological Rehabilitation
Issue number7
Early online date31 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • brain injury
  • self-esteem
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • cognitive therapy patient group

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