Rosenburg Self-esteem Scale scores from 7706 Irish young people, aged 10 to 17 years, were analysed in order to determine if self-esteem is related to incidence of smoking, drinking and drunkenness and drug use (among 15 to 17 year olds only). In addition, age, sex and social class differences in self-esteem scores are examined. There were no significant differences in self-esteem scores between those who had and had not tried smoking, those who drank regularly and those who did not, or those with different levels of smoking involvement and frequency of past drunkenness. Among 15 to 17 year olds there were no significant differences in self-esteem scores between those who had 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 to17 year olds. It did not significantly differ across social class groupings. The results do not support the received wisdom that self-esteem confers a protective effect against involvement in the so-called health-risk behaviours.
|Journal||Irish Journal of Psychology|
|Publication status||Published - 2002|