Background: This study aimed to identify sub-trajectory groups of self-esteem among adults aged 19–64 years and the factors impacting latent classes, as well as to assess differences in symptoms of depression. Methods: Research data from the Korea Welfare Panel Study were analyzed, including those from 8866 adults who participated in the 6th, 9th, 12th, and 15th waves. The growth mixture modeling analysis was used to identify latent classes of self-esteem trajectories. Results: Three classes of self-esteem trajectories were identified. The majority of adults (88.0%) reported stable high self-esteem over time. A second class (low-level increasing: 7.7%) reported low levels of self-esteem, which gradually increased to high levels by the end of the study. A third group, medium-level decreasing (4.3%), reported medium self-esteem levels, which decreased to the lowest level by the end of the study. Limitations: The factors identified in previous studies as those closely associated with self-esteem, such as personality, quality of life, and life satisfaction, were not considered in this study. Additionally, although the absence or presence of chronic disease was included in the health factors, no further investigation was made to identify the effects of different chronic diseases on the dependent and outcome variables. Conclusions: These results suggest that interventions designed to prevent depression among adults who are older, unemployed, at risk of alcoholism, or dissatisfied with their health and relationships may be beneficial. This study identified a relationship between unstable self-esteem and the risk of depression.
- Growth mixture model
- Symptoms of depression