J Korean Acad Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs.  2013 Mar;22(1):56-64.

Effects of Self-esteem and Academic Stress on Depression in Korean Students in Health Care Professions

  • 1Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, Konyang University, Daejeon, Korea.
  • 2Department of Nursing Science, College of Medicine, Wonkwang University, Iksan, Korea. yukyko@wku.ac.kr
  • 3Department of Social Work, College of Rehabilitation, Social Welfare & Education, Konyang University, Daejeon, Korea.
  • 4Department of Dental Hygiene, College of Medical Science, Konyang University, Daejeon, Korea.
  • 5Department of Medical, College of Medicine, Konyang University, Daejeon, Korea.


The purposes of this study were to identify factors affecting depression in college students and the correlation of depression with self-esteem and academic stress, and to identify differences among student self-esteem, academic stress, and general characteristics and the relationship of these variables to depression.
The study was done in April 2011 with 852 students in health-related majors (medicine, nursing science, and dental hygiene) of a medical college in Korea. A self-rating survey containing 10 items from the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale, 20 items from the Self-rating Depression Scale, and 22 items on academic stress was used. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, t-tests, one-way ANOVA, and logistic regression.
Medical students' scores for self-esteem were significantly higher than dental hygiene students, but for academic stress scores, the result was the opposite. Logistic regression showed that self-esteem, academic stress, academic major and satisfaction with it (positive affect), and home income level (negative affect) significantly affected the level of depression.
Designing and implementing realistic programs tailored to students' academic majors to enhance their self-esteem and provide practical knowledge in dealing with academic stress will help these students obtain a healthier school life emotionally as well as academically.


Depression; Self-esteem; Stress
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