Impulsivity and self-esteem as predictors of alcohol use among Irish adults

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Cronin, John
Issue Date
Higher Diploma in Arts in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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This study investigates the relationship between alcohol use, impulsivity and self esteem among a population of Irish adults. Previous research (e.g. Department of Health, 2012, Hope, 2008) has highlighted the negative impact of alcohol on Irish society, linking excessive drinking with road traffic accidents, crime, increased risk of certain cancers and gastrointestinal problems. This research identified a need for research that investigates the specific influences on excessive drinking in Irish society (Hope, 2008). The current study compares drinking behaviour among different age groups and genders, and investigates if alcohol consumption is predicted by levels of impulsivity and self-esteem. Data was collected using the Alcohol Use Inventory (Horn, Wanberg & Foster, 1990), the Barratt Impulsivity Scale (Patton, Stanford & Barratt, 1995) and the Rosenberg Self- Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965). Using a regression analysis, it was found that levels of impulsivity predicted levels of hazardous drinking behaviour with moderate strength (F(1,107)=23.19, R2 =0.18, p=0.001) (BIS_total, beta= 0.42, p=0.001). However, a further analysis suggested this relationship is not present in women aged over 30 (F(1,11)= 0.55, R2=0.05, p=0.47) (BIS_total, beta= 0.22, p=0.47). Additionally, a 2-tailed Spearman’s Rho test for correlation, found no relationship between self-esteem and alcohol use among the current sample (rs(114)= -0.02, p=0.84). Author keywords: alcohol, impulsivity, self-esteem.