Correlations among self-esteem, aggression, adverse childhood experiences and depression in inmates of a female juvenile correctional facility in Japan


*Naomi Matsuura, PhD, 2-13-32, Marunouchi, Naka-ku, Nagoya-shi, 460-0002, Japan. Email:


Aim:  The purpose of this study was to examine the following hypothesis: (i) Self-esteem and aggressiveness, adverse childhood experiences (ACE), and a depressive tendency interact with each other. (ii) The subjects show a strong depressive tendency, and each of the other factors exerts a main effect on, and interacts with, the depressive tendency.

Method:  The subjects were 91 juveniles (all female) admitted to a female juvenile correctional facility between November 2005 and December 2006. They were aged 15–19 years, with a mean age of 17.0 (SD = 1.18) years. Self-esteem scale, aggression scale, ACE questionnaire, and depression scale were conducted.

Results:  Significant main effects (R2 = 0.50, P < 0.001) on the depression score were observed in self-esteem (β = −0.41, P < 0.001) and aggression (β = 0.21, P < 0.05). Self-esteem, aggression, ACE, and depression were found to be interrelated.

Conclusion:  Low self-esteem was also shown to exert marked effects on various factors. About half of the inmates of the facility were depressed, and the main effects of self-esteem, aggression, and the ACE score were shown to influence the depression score.