The aim of this study was to examine whether self-esteem mediates the relationship between family factors and depressive symptoms in young adults. Participants completed self-report questionnaires about overall family environment, conflict with mother or father, parental rearing, self esteem, and depressive symptoms. Self-esteem was found to mediate the relationship between the combined family factors and depressive symptoms. When examined simultaneously, none of the individual family variables uniquely predicted depressive symptoms or self-esteem. However, separate analysis of each of the three family factors provided evidence for self-esteem mediating the relationship between parental conflict and depressive symptoms, and the relationship between parental care and depressive symptoms. Self-esteem may play a role in the mechanism underlying the link between parent-offspring relationship factors and depressive symptoms.