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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 104, Issue 1, pp e60–e63 | Cite as

Self-esteem and the Initiation of Substance Use Among Adolescents

  • Chris G. RichardsonEmail author
  • Jae-Young Kwon
  • Pamela A. Ratner
Quantitative Research
  • 1 Downloads

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To investigate differences in the relationship between self-esteem and the initiation of substance use (tobacco, alcohol and marijuana) among male and female secondary school students in British Columbia.

METHODS: The data were collected in the 2010 fall and 2011 spring cycles of the British Columbia Adolescent Substance Use Survey (BASUS). The sample consisted of 1,267 adolescents (57% female) in Grades 8 and 9. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to examine the extent to which self-esteem and gender, and their interaction, influenced the odds of having initiated substance use at baseline and at follow-up 6 months later.

RESULTS: For each one-point increase on the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, there was a reduction in the odds of initiating substance use by up to 9% for tobacco, 3% for alcohol, and 7% for marijuana. The relationships between self-esteem and the initiation of tobacco and alcohol use varied by gender, with boys having slightly less robust associations at the baseline assessment.

CONCLUSION: The results suggest that self-esteem is protective against the initiation of tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana use. Researchers are advised to consider the interactive effects of gender in future longitudinal research examining the relationship between self-esteem and the initiation of substance use, including implications related to the development of substance use prevention programs.

Key words

Substance use adolescents self-esteem, gender tobacco, marijuana alcohol 

Résumé

OBJECTIFS: Étudier les différences dans la relation entre l’estime de soi et le début de la consommation de substances (tabac, alcool et marijuana) chez les élèves du secondaire en Colombie-Britannique.

MÉTHODE: Nos données ont été recueillies pendant les cycles de l’automne 2010 et du printemps 2011 de l’enquête BASUS (British Columbia Adolescent Substance Use Survey). L’échantillon comprenait 1 267 adolescents (57 % de filles) de 8e et de 9e année. À l’aide de modèles de régression logistique multivariée, nous avons examiné la mesure dans laquelle l’estime de soi et le sexe, et leur interaction, influencent la probabilité d’avoir déjà consommé des substances au début de l’étude et au suivi six mois plus tard.

RÉSULTATS: Pour chaque point d’augmentation sur l’échelle de l’estime de soi de Rosenberg, la probabilité d’avoir commencé à consommer des substances diminuait jusqu’à 9 % pour le tabac, jusqu’à 3 % pour l’alcool et jusqu’à 7 % pour la marijuana. La relation entre l’estime de soi et le début de la consommation de tabac et d’alcool variait selon le sexe, les garçons présentant une association légèrement moins forte à l’évaluation préliminaire.

CONCLUSION: Il semble que l’estime de soi protège contre l’initiation à la consommation de tabac, d’alcool et de marijuana. Nous conseillons aux chercheurs d’examiner les effets interactifs du sexe dans les futures études longitudinales sur le lien entre l’estime de soi et le début de la consommation de substances, y compris les conséquences de l’élaboration de programmes de prévention.

Mots clés

consommation de substances adolescents estime de soi, sexe tabac, marijuana alcool 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris G. Richardson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jae-Young Kwon
    • 2
  • Pamela A. Ratner
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Population and Public HealthUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.School of NursingUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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