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Alcoholism and its link to poor self-esteem

Prior to maturity is the stage of adolescence. This is the period where physical and psychological changes take place. The beginning of adolescence is indicated by physical changes known as puberty.

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With these changes, entail the teenager’s self-perception regarding his physical transformation. Although this aspect is only one of the areas that might seriously affect an adolescent’s self-esteem, it is also a major consideration in the understanding of the youth’s developing self (Halonen & Santrock, 1996).

These physical changes affect personality; radical changes in attitudes and interests may occur, but there is consciousness in acting the role of adults. Conflicts may be experienced or may arise as a result of psychosocial behavior patterns in the attempt to achieve maturity. Accepting one’s physique, therefore, is considered one of adolescent’s developmental tasks(Hilgard, 2001).

In addition, there is also the emotional independence from parents; developing intellectual skills and concepts necessary for civic competence; desiring and achieving socially responsible behavior and building values in harmony with adequate scientific world-picture (Halpern, 1992). These are actually innate cravings of every individual person and must be resolved especially in such a critical period as adolescence. Problem statements Basic theoretical viewpoints in social psychology are divided on the effects of self-esteem on an individual’s functioning relative to his/her world.

One extreme views self-esteem as the root cause of all of society’s problems and that raising it is to solve many social ills. Where poor performance in school is a perennial problem, unemployment or poverty is concerned, the advocates say that poor self-esteem is at their roots. Alcoholism for instance may indicate that an adolescent is having a problem with self-esteem (Pritchard, 2007). This research intends to show that there is a strong correlation between the poor self-esteem and adolescent alcoholism in terms of a teenager’s deficiency and maladaptive patterns in confronting issues concerning himself and his role in his community.

Also, in an attempt to provide appropriate recommendations that might be useful for a possible reduction to the incidence of adolescent alcoholism, underlying causes of such phenomena will be analyzed. Specific Main Questions and Sub-questions: Based on the developmental tasks that are expected to occur during the adolescent stage and the context in which self-esteem plays a role in alcoholism, the main research question of this study was drawn as to • What is the correlation of poor self-esteem to adolescent alcoholism?

The subsequent research sub-questions that will guide the framework of the research study are as follow: A. What is self-esteem? B. What are the effects of low self-esteem to adolescents? C. To what extent does alcoholism in adolescents a reflection of low-esteem? D. What are the reasons that contribute why adolescents with low self-esteem lead to such maladaptive behavior as alcoholism? E. What are the interventions available to help adolescents with low self-esteem who suffer in alcoholism. F.

What strategic approaches could be used to reduce the incidence of lowered self-esteem? CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW Title: Self-esteem and its relationship to alcohol and substance abuse prevention in adolescents Author: Joseph, Donnelly, PhD. Studies regarding substance abuse (alcohol included) yielded results that clearly associate self esteem closely to it. Those who are engaged in alcohol use in later or older age do so because they have learned the use of it in their early and moldable years (11 years old or 5th & 6th grade).

Consequently, attempts have been made to deal with the area of self-esteem in hopes that when this psychological problem among teens is addressed properly, substance abuse might somehow be curbed. There are programs that cater to this need and they are actually placed side by side with the traditional curriculums of some schools. The specific aim of the program is prevention and anticipates a positive effect since it seeks to deal with the potential problem of alcohol use before its actual occurrence.

Experts and researchers believe that this quandary of alcohol abuse among teens may be helped by treating it in a stage where it is less obvious – that is, when the youngster is not yet manifesting or is obviously using alcohol, but on the brink of experimenting on it (Donnelly, 2007). Advocates of the program are optimistic to the efficacy of their method. The line of attack of this particular method is directed towards factors that are crucial to the make up of adolescents’ life experiences.

Understanding the transitions that teenagers most likely will go through is the underlying principle that facilitated the study that eventually led to the formation of this program. Hence, the high hopes that the proponents of this program maintain. In this paper, the author tries to explore and explain the rubric of the particular synopsis mentioned above and to finally (in the process) convince its readers of its viability in decreasing the problem of alcoholism among teens and young adults in the coming years.

It will explain the rationale behind the effectiveness of the curriculum since the whole program is aimed at the core level of the perpetual potential problem of alcohol addiction. ~Feasibility of the Program The National Association for Self-Esteem (NASE), as the very name of the association clearly implies, believe that the self-esteem of the individual plays a major role why or why not that particular person is using/abusing or not using/abusing alcohol.

The observation is that teenagers with low self esteem have higher likelihood to experiment not only with alcohol but with other harmful psychoactive substances than those with high self-esteem. Furthermore, their studies yield evidences that point to the fact that individuals with positive self-esteem show not only little serious involvement with addictive substances but lesser tendency to risk trying the pleasures of these drugs. Convinced of this observation, self-esteem proponents constantly research and write articles that speak to the issue.

They support a prevention program which has within it as crucial part “self-esteem enhancement. ” Not any prevention program or traditional approach to the problem will achieve a longer-lasting effect. Overwhelming data available have proven that traditional school programs are not sufficient to address the issue; in order to be really effective in curbing alcoholism among teenagers, it is very important that as researches yield additional information, new strategies should be incorporated and employed as well.

Important factors along with self-esteem that must be tackled include: personal efficacy, ability to decide wisely for oneself, and communication skills, etc. These areas must be developed since they influence and affect the behavior of an individual. It is believed that when these basic skills are taught and cultivated, rather than concentrating on the harmful effects of alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs, the benefits will be much more than the reduction of the likelihood of teenagers and young adults to use and abuse drugs.

Involvement with other behavioral correlates like unsafe sexual encounters, and teenage pregnancy, will also diminish. The timing of the implementation of this kind of preventive program in schools for it to really achieve its goal among teenagers is also emphasized. It has to be implemented early, or else, its efficacy will lessen. Dr. Joseph Donnelly (self-esteem proponent) said: “It is much easier to prevent adolescents from ever engaging in the use of substances than it is to deter that use once it has begun. ” Title: Self Esteem Author: Dr. E. Pritchard

According to the author, the concept on self esteem hinges around the physical attractiveness of a person rather than on objective values or qualities. Dr. Pritchard attempts further that for most people who regard physical attractiveness as pre-eminent to be on top of the world of men, self-esteem then will become an issue. The author narrows the two important salient features in concept of self esteem which includes: -“a feeling of being lovable” -“a feeling of being competent” He qualifies also such distinction that low self esteem is not the same as depression.

He also identifies two strong motivations people have: the need for praise or compliment or a positive feedback, and the need for self-verification. He further mentions that ecological niches in every individual provide a clue as to the degree that our self-view is adversely affected. In a related study on Marital Bliss, couples are said to be observed as more committed to each other due to their consistent self-view; i. e. , one who has a positive self-view is more committed to the other who also has a positive self-view.

Furthermore, Pritchard examines the validity of the claim and states his own argument against what is seemingly narrow understanding of the concept: if self-esteem may be a root problem in society’s problems and if the resulting ills that society is recipient of is suffering from poor self-esteem, then it is logical that raising it will positively eradicate if not remove the problems of people. Title: Urban-rural differences in adolescent self- esteem, leisure boredom, and sensation-seeking as predictors of leisure-time usage and satisfaction

Author: Winsome Rose Gordon and Marie Louise Caltabiano The author seeks to establish the mediation of low self-esteem over the adolescents’ choice to opt for deviant behavior rather than on more socially acceptable conduct. Deviant behavior refers to use and abuse of drugs as observed in the study. Other factors such as leisure boredom and sensation-seeking as possible mediators as self-esteem is known to be more effective in drawing an adolescent to engage in rather in more productive venues. Title: Evaluating the effects of self-esteem on substance abuse among homeless men (evaluating self-esteem)

Author: Barris P. Malcolm It is especially significant that even in studying homeless men, it is important that studies like these further cement the role of self-esteem plays in the choice to use chemical or other substances. It also reviews the studies done by Kaplan in that a strong link tying self-esteem to the possible dependence of individuals to alcohol and other harmful substances. The study seeks to provide the theoretical framework to support the notion risky behaviors including indulgence with alcohol and drugs are associated with low self.

In similar attempts to elaborate the research, the author also cited the inconsistent reports and studies done by several authors which claims that alcoholism results to higher self-esteem rather than its opposite. Title: Self-esteem: the costs and causes of low self- worth Author: Nicholas Emler Emler collated and presented his facts on several studies that support the close correlation that a poor self-esteem influences the individual’s choice to adopt a destructive lifestyle. However, in this study, Emler clarifies that o Self-esteem can actually be measured and quantified reliably

o Parental influences play a direct part in developing the child’s view of self hence, a low self-esteem stems from such factors as parenting styles, physical and sexual abuse o The interventions that have been developed by experts are still limited and are not known to be effective for a long period of time. o Strategic approaches implemented and public policies have their specific outputs as a response to the position that low self-esteem can be equated with self-destructive patterns. o Other factors such as belonging to a particular minority group, race or gender may be root causes that a person like an adolescent is specifically tempted.

The review and in-depth report reflect the negative correlation between self-esteem and the factors just enumerated. Reference: 1. Donnelly, Joseph. 2004. Self-Esteem and it’s Relationship to Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention in Adolescents. Dept. of Health Professions/PERLS National Association for Self-esteem. 2. Emler, Nicholas. 2001. The costs and causes of low self-esteem. Joseph Rowntree foundation. 3. Gordon, Winsome Rose. 1996. Urban-rural differences in adolescent self-esteem, leisure boredom, and sensation-seeking as predictors of leisure-time usage and satisfaction. Adolescence. p. 1 4. Halonen, JS, & JW Santrock.

1996. Psychology: contexts of behavior. Dubuque, IA: Brown and Benchmark, p. 810. 5. Hilgard. E, et al. 1983. Introduction to Psychology. 7th edition. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanich. 6. Malcolm, Barris. 2004. Evaluating the effects of self-esteem on substance abuse among homeless men (evaluating self-esteem. Journal of Alcohol and Drug Addiction. 7. Pritchard, John. Self Esteem. Accessed September 27, 2007 < file:///D:/Documents%20and%20Settings/alan/My%20Documents/ALCOHOLSIM%20AND%20SELFESTEEM/social98b. html> 8. Halpern, D. F. 1992. Sex differences in cognitive abilities. 2nd ed. Hillsdale, NJ; Lawrence Erlbaum.