Low Self-Esteem May
Predict Future Drug Use
JoinTogether.com April 6, 2006
Adolescent boys who have very low self-esteem at
age 11 and have friends who approve of alcohol and
other drug use are more likely to become dependent
on illicit drugs by the time they reach their 20th
birthday, according to
researchers from Florida State University.
self-esteem is kind of the spark plug for
self-destructive behaviors, and drug use is one of
these," said study co-author John Taylor. "It's a
fundamental need to have a good sense of self.
Without it, people may become pathologically
unhappy with themselves, and that can lead to some
very serious problems."
Researchers looked at data on 872 boys collected
over a span of nine years and concluded that those
with very low self-esteem were 1.6 times more
likely to be drug dependent at age 20 than their
fact that you can identify a group of people who
are at risk for problematic behaviors is very
important," Taylor said. "If you can intervene on
a group of people before they begin drug use or
embark on a cycle of addiction, that could have
huge health benefits."
study was published in the
Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse.