This 14-year longitudinal study examined the independent association between perceived social support and the 5-year progression of depressive tendencies while taking into account the potential effects of childhood/adolescent anger and later hostility. From the on-going population based study of "Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns", 553 male and 860 female participants responded to a revised version of Beck's Depression Inventory in 1992 and 1997. Hostility and perceived social support were assessed by self-rated questionnaires in 1992. Childhood/adolescent anger was assessed by parent-reports in 1983. Our results showed that higher levels of perceived social support were associated with the decrease of depressive tendencies after 5 years and lower levels of depressive tendencies prospectively and after 5 years. This association persisted after adjusting for childhood/adolescent anger and later hostility. In addition, hostility was strongly related to the 5-year increase of depressive tendencies and higher levels of depressive tendencies. Social support may therefore be a long-term protective factor from depression irrespective of personality characteristics, such as hostility and anger.