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Does Self-Esteem Moderate the Associations Between Protective Behavioral Strategies and Negative Outcomes Associated with Alcohol Consumption?

NCJ Number
Journal of Drug Education Volume: 42 Issue: 2 Dated: 2012 Pages: 211-227
Virgil Zeigler-Hill; Michael B. Madson; Amy Ricedorf
Date Published
17 pages
This study examined the ability of self-esteem to moderate the association between protective behavioral strategies and negative alcohol-related consequences in college students.
Using a sample of college students, this study investigated the potential for high levels of self-esteem to moderate the association between protective behavioral strategies (PBS) and the negative consequences associated with alcohol consumption. The study found that greater use of PBS by the students was associated with higher levels of self-esteem, lower levels of alcohol consumption, lower levels of harmful drinking patterns, and fewer negative consequences. In addition, the study found that while students' level of self-esteem was not associated with the amount of alcohol consumed, it was negatively associated with harmful drinking patterns and negative consequences. The only main effect found for PBS was that the use of PBS by students resulted in less harmful drinking patterns, with the effect of PBS being moderated by self-esteem level and gender of the student. Male students with low levels of self-esteem were found to have higher levels of negative consequences regardless of the levels of PBS used. These findings are consistent with those of previous studies that have shown a connection between levels of self-esteem and negative alcohol-related consequences. Data for the study were obtained from a sample of undergraduate college students, n=457, who completed measures of PBS, self-esteem, alcohol use, harmful drinking patterns, and negative consequences of drinking via a secure Web site. The data was analyzed to determine the effect that students' use of PBS would have on the amount of alcohol consumed, harmful drinking patterns, and negative consequences, given their varying levels of self-esteem. Study limitations are discussed. Tables, figures, and references