Self-esteem and health-risk behaviours: is there a link?
Nic Gabhainn, Saoirse
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Mullan, E., & Nic Gabhainn, S. (2003). Self-esteem and health-risk behaviours: is there a link? Irish journal of psychology, 23(1-2), 27-36.
Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale scores from 7706 Irish young people were analysed in order to determine if self-esteem is related to incidence of smoking, drinking, drunkenness and drug use. In addition, age, sex and social class differences in selfesteem scores are examined. There were no significant differences in self-esteem scores between those who had and had not tried smoking, those with different levels of smoking involvement, those who drank regularly and those who did not, frequency of reported drunkenness and for 15-17 year olds or those who reported ever having used cannabis and those who did not. Self-esteem was significantly higher in males than in females, and higher in 10 to 12 than in 13-17 year olds, but did not significantly differ across social class groups. The results do not support the received wisdom that self-esteem confers a protective effect against involvement in the socalled health-risk behaviours.