The more recent a black mark is on the credit report, the more damage it does to the credit score. And the more recent negative listings that appear, the worse they impact the score as well.
For example, one thirty-day late pay will certainly ravage the credit score, causing it to plunge considerably. But that's nothing compared to a series of late payments, all recent. If you show that you are "crashing," your credit score will crash too.
Late Payments - 90 to 120 days late
Thirty day late payments, in small numbers, aren't as damaging as 90 and 120-day late payments. The later you were, the harder it will be on your report (and the harder it will be to remove when you set about repairing your credit report.)
Late Payments - 30 to 60 days late
Just because these "small" late payments aren't rated as highly, doesn't mean that they won't wipe out your credit score. Especially when they come in groups, these small late payments can easily take your score from 700 to 600 in a matter of days.
However, limited, small, late payments (in small numbers) can often be negotiated away by talking to the creditor through creditor-direct "interventions" or simple goodwill requests to remove the late listings.
Old Late Payments
The older a negative listing becomes, the less it impacts the credit score. Negative listings that are six or seven years old may not impact the score at all. They can sometimes affect the score, and they're often easier to remove through standard bureau challenges and direct-to-creditor interventions.