A diary study of implicit self-esteem, interpersonal interactions and alcohol consumption in college students

Tracy DeHart, Howard Tennen, Stephen Armeli, Michael Todd, Cynthia Mohr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

A 30-day daily diary study examined the relations among implicit self-esteem, interpersonal interactions, and alcohol consumption in college students. Multilevel analyses revealed that students with low implicit self-esteem drank more on days when they experienced more negative interpersonal interactions. In contrast, students with high implicit self-esteem drank more on days when they experienced more positive interpersonal interactions. Spending time with people who were drinking mediated both the low implicit self-esteem by negative interpersonal events interaction and the high implicit self-esteem by positive interpersonal events interaction. These findings suggest that people with low implicit self-esteem may unintentionally drink as a way to regulate unfulfilled needs for acceptance. On the other hand, people with high implicit self-esteem may drink as a way to enhance positive interpersonal experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)720-730
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume45
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Alcohol consumption
  • Feelings of acceptance
  • Implicit self-esteem
  • Interpersonal interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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