Relationship Between Self-esteem and Alcohol Consumption
Sponsored by Missouri Western State University Sponsored by a grant from the National Science Foundation DUE-97-51113
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The proper APA Style reference for this manuscript is:
LAWING, J. W. (2006). Relationship Between Self-esteem and Alcohol Consumption. National Undergraduate Research Clearinghouse, 9. Available online at http://www.webclearinghouse.net/volume/. Retrieved May 29, 2017 .

Relationship Between Self-esteem and Alcohol Consumption
JEREMY W. LAWING
MISSOURI WESTERN STATE UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY

Sponsored by: Brian Cronk (cronk@missouriwestern.edu)
ABSTRACT
Based on data collected via a survey from 26 workers at a local retail store, with self-esteem, alcohol consumption, and diet components, Pearson correlations were run between self-esteem, alcohol consumption, and age to see if a relationship existed. It was found that as age increases, so did self-esteem and alcohol consumption. However, self-esteem and alcohol consumption only showed a slight positive relationship.

INTRODUCTION
The main purpose of this study was to see if there is a significant relationship between self-esteem and alcohol consumption. Most prior research has found a significant relationship. I also chose to add in age as a factor. Only one other study that I found included age.Studies such as the one done by Pushkash and Quereshi (1980) studied the self perception, among other things, of alcoholics from a rehabilitation center. They found a significant difference between alcoholics and non-alcoholics in that alcoholics had a lower self perception than their non-alcoholic counterparts, but no significant difference was found between genders. A study by Corbin et al (1996), however did find a significant difference between the genders. I found it surprising and contradictory to other studies in that while females followed the expected negative relationship pattern, but males were found to have a positive relationship. This discrepancy was noted by the authors. Glindemann et al (1999) took a slightly different approach than other studies. They used a single party as a basis for the research. Participants completed a self-esteem survey a couple of weeks prior to the party. Their blood alcohol content was measured as the participants exited the party. Their results were consistent with previous studies in regards to self-esteem and alcohol consumption and with no significant differences between the genders. DeSimone et al (1994) surveyed high school students. Their researched differed from other research with the added element of depression. They found depression to be positively correlated to self-esteem and both are negatively correlated to alcohol consumption, but not significance between genders. Although the research on this topic is limited, I believe the general pattern of the results is obvious. There is a significant relationship between alcohol consumption and self-esteem, but there is not a significant relationship between the genders. Mine differed in that it used a different group of participants than previous studies and with the added element of age. I used employees at a local retail store. The age range of these participants was wide, which gave me a well rounded study.


METHOD

PARTICIPANTS
This study included 26 (15 males and 11 females) employees of a local retail store, which included a wide range of demographics.

MATERIALS
The materials for this study included a survey consisting of the Rosenberg (1965) self-esteem scale, questions concerning alcohol consumption habits, and eating habits. This survey also asked for the gender and age of the participant.

PROCEDURE
Each participant received a survey from me which they completed at their leisure. They were instructed to return the survey to me upon completion. Most of the participants finished the survey within a couple of minutes and returned it to me immediately, several others held onto the survey and completed it at a later time, then turned it into a designed location or to me.


RESULTS
A Pearson Correlation was calculated examining the relationship between the amount of alcohol consumed in the past 30 days and self-esteem. A low to moderate correlation that was not significant was found (r(23) = .250, p > .05). Alcohol consumption is not very strongly related to self-esteem. A Pearson Correlation was calculated examining the relationship between the amount of alcohol consumed in the past 7 days and self-esteem. A low to moderate correlation that was not significant was found (r(23) = .277, p > .05). Alcohol consumption is not very strongly related to self-esteem. A Pearson Correlation was calculated examining the relationship between age and self-esteem. A strong correlation that was significant was found (sig = .022) was found (r(23) = .456, p < .05). Self-esteem seems to increase with age. A Pearson Correlation was calculated examining the relationship between age and the amount of alcohol consumed in the past 30 days. A moderate correlation that approached significance was found (sig = .051) was found (r(23) = .394, p > .05). A Pearson Correlation was calculated examining the relationship between age and the amount of alcohol consumed in the past 7 days. A moderate correlation that was not significant was found (sig = .094) was found (r(23) = .342, p > .05).


DISCUSSION
After reviewing many previous studies, I fully expected to find similar results in that self-esteem was directly and negatively related to alcohol consumption. My results seemed to show not only that there was not as strong of a relationship as found by these previous studies, it also seemed to show that there is a slightly positive relationship. I also discovered that there was a strong correlation between age and self-esteem. As age increases, so does self-esteem. There also seemed to be a moderate relationship between age and alcohol consumption. My findings seem to show that as age increases, so does alcohol consumption and self-esteem. Of the previous studies I reviewed, only one included age. This study, however did not find a relationship. It would seem that my overall findings contradict those of previous studies. As I was researching this subject I discovered other contradictions. Most studies found no significant difference between genders, while some others found a difference. This would suggest that there may be other variables not taken into consideration which could be accounting for the contradictions. Further research could be done within retail employees. I included gender on my survey but chose not to use it on the account that most previous studies found no difference. However, in light of the contradictions I came across in my research I would suggest that further research include this. I would also suggest including in the survey a component dealing with job satisfaction. I think a major limitation of my of my research was sample size. I would have liked to have a larger one. Finding more effective methods of increasing distribution of the surveys and participation may be difficult, but would increase reliability of the results.


REFERENCES
Corbin, W. R., et al (1996). Self-esteem and problem drinking among male and female college students. Journal of Alcohol & Drug Education. 42. 1. DeSimone, A, et al (1994). Alcohol use, self-esteem, depression, and suicidality in high school students [electronic version]. Adolescence. 29. 939-942.Glindemann, K. E., et al (1999). Self-esteem and alcohol consumption: A study of college drinking behavior in a naturalistic setting. Journal of Alcohol & Drug Education. 45. 60.Pushkash, M. et al (1980). Perception of self and significant others by male and female alcoholics. Journal of Clinical Psychology. 36. 571-576.Rosenberg, M. (1989). Society and the Adolescent Self-Image. Revised edition.

Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.


Appendix A


Appendix B

Submitted 12/7/2006 12:40:25 PM
Last Edited 12/7/2006 12:53:39 PM
Converted to New Site 03/09/2009

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