Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 3-19-2009

Journal / Book Title

Journal of Drug Education


The use of illicit and licit drugs continues to be a major public health concern. Many prevention and drug education programs address this issue by attempting to enhance self-esteem. The idea is that increased levels of self-esteem will serve as a protective factor in decreasing the motivation and increasing the resistance to use drugs. This study explored the relationship between area specific self-esteem and adolescent substance use. Participants (n = 700) completed a self-report questionnaire which included items measuring the use and expected use of selected substances. Results indicated significant differences in home and school self-esteem scores between users/expected users and non-users of a given substance for all 14 behavioral measures. Additionally, the peer, home, and school sub-scales as a set were found to distinguish between users and non-users for all 14 behavioral measures. Results should be of value to those designing prevention programming.


Published Citation

Donnelly, Joseph, Michael Young, Rebecca Pearson, Tina M. Penhollow, and Aida Hernandez. "Area specific self-esteem, values, and adolescent substance use." Journal of Drug Education 38, no. 4 (2008): 389-403. Harvard