INTRODUCTION Recent statistics demonstrate that "one in three college students now drink primarily to get drunk" (National GRADD, 1999) and that each year students spend more on alcohol that other non-alcoholic drinks and books combined. Not only do these people put themselves and others at risk for injury and death due to automobile accidents, for students, loss of study and class time is also a negative consequence thus effecting their GPA. Previous research has indicated that relationships exist between self-esteem and rate of alcohol consumption (Pullen, 1994), sex-role orientation and rate of alcohol consumption (Chomak & Collins, 1987). Further, sex differences exist in the rate of alcohol consumption (Corbin et al., 1996) among college students. However, to the knowledge of the researchers none have investigated relationships between self-esteem, self-concept, sex-role orientation and rate of alcohol consumption simultaneously. Prior studies have indicated that men drink greater quantities of alcohol, and more frequently than women (Pullen, 1994). Interestingly, some researchers have found very little or no differences between drinking patterns of men and women (McCreary, Newcomb, & Sadava, 1999). Results produced by Chomak and Collins (1987 investigating sex-role orientation as a predictor of alcohol consumption indicated that higher feminine sex-role was associated with lighter drinking for both men and women and higher masculine scores were associated with heavier drinking but for men only. These findings suggest that feminine orientation was a factor associated with decreased consumption by men, however, masculine orientation did not increase consumption for women. These findings indicate that sex-role orientation rather than biological sex may be more predictive of alcohol consumption. McCreary et al. (1999) examined the extent to which male gender role stress predicted alcohol consumption or alcohol abuse in both men and women. Their findings revealed that the male gender role, specifically male gender role stress predicted alcohol involvement more strongly in men than in women. Surprisingly, there were no differences between men and women in relation to the quantity of alcohol consumed or the frequency of intoxication. Additionally, relationships between latent factors of Alcohol Use and Alcohol Problems were not reliably different for either men or women indicating that alcohol use liability is the same for both sexes. These findings confirm that holding traditional male sex-role attitudes can have a negative impact on men`s health, however, women who drink do not necessarily drink because of the same masculine sex-role attitudes. Research by Pullen (1994) indicated that low self-esteem was correlated with alcohol abuse for both sexes. Conversely, Corbin et al. (1996) found that for men, as alcohol consumption increased, self-esteem also increased. Vallient and Scanlan (1996) found a similar pattern of high self-esteem for weekly consumption for women, however, Corbin et al. in comparison indicated lower self-esteem for women. Walitzer and Sher (1996) investigating self-esteem as a predictor of alcohol diagnosis found that women who had an alcohol use disorder also exhibited lower levels of self-esteem, but not men. Men and women without alcohol use disorder exhibited relatively similar and high levels of self-esteem. The purpose of the present study was to investigate relationships between self-esteem, self-concept, and sex-role orientation, as predictors of alcohol consumption rate. It was hypothesized that the masculine sex-role classification would be associated with highest self-esteem and highest alcohol consumption, regardless of sex. It was further hypothesized that there would be reliable differences between self-concept and self-esteem in terms of their predictive ability. Specifically, it was hypothesized that self-concept would be a more powerful predictor of alcohol usage than self-esteem.
METHODParticipants The sample (N = 415), mean age (25.95), consisted of 147 men (35.4%) and 268 women (64.6%). Participants were students of a southeastern, nonresidential university campus.
Instruments The following instruments were used: Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale (RSE; Rosenberg, 1965), Bem Sex-Role Inventory (BSRI; Bem, 1974), Semantic Differential Self-Concept Assessment (SDSA; Monge, 1974) and The Daily Drinking Questionnaire (DDQ; Collins, Parks & Marlatt, 1985). The SDSA consists of four categories: Achievement/Leadership (A/L), Adjustment (ADJ), Congeniality/Sociability (CS), and Masculine/Feminine (M/F). Additionally, a brief demographic survey was included.
Procedure Participants were recruited across several academic disciplines by obtaining permission from university professors to administer the questionnaire packets at designated times in their classrooms. Participants responded to counterbalanced packets of the RSE, DDQ, BSRI, SDSA, and the demographic questionnaire. The purpose of the study was withheld until all participants completed the questionnaires, at which time the researchers debriefed the participants and answered any questions.
RESULTS The response measure was the average weekly alcohol consumption rating. The scores for the BSRI (Bem, 1974) were collapsed to produce the sex-role classifications (SRC), undifferentiated, feminine, masculine, and androgynous. The scores for SRC, high (31-40) and low (10-30) self-esteem for the RSE, gender, and scores for each category of the SDSA are summarized in Table 1. A multiple regression was computed using Gender, SRC, RSE, and SDSA scores as predictors of total alcohol consumption. The full model was significant (R2 = .101), F(7, 414) = 6.56, p = .000). Results of a univariate ANOVA indicated that Gender F(1, 414) = 16.12, p = .000, SRC F(3, 414) = 6.26, p = .000, and the Gender x SRC interaction F(3, 414) =2.71, p = .05 were the only significant predictors of alcohol consumption. Examination of the means for the Gender x SRC interaction indicated that individuals having a masculine sex-role classification drank significantly more than any of the other sex-role classifications, regardless of the sex of the individual. Post hoc tests of SRC (Tukey HSD) indicated that the masculine sex-role classification was associated with significantly more drinking than the other three sex-role classifications, which were not significantly different from each other (see Table 2).
DISCUSSION Findings suggest that the masculine sex-role classification produced the highest alcohol consumption scores, regardless of sex, as predicted. This finding is contrary to those of McCreary et al., (1999) who found that the male gender role, specifically male gender role stress predicted alcohol involvement more strongly in men than in women. McCreary et al. suggested that an examination of female gender role stress might possibly explain the pattern of alcohol consumption found in women. Conversely, the results from the present research would suggest that a connection does exist between the alcohol consumption of women and some aspect of the male gender role as measured by the BSRI. Further research of gender role identification is necessary to explore the extent to which men and women share the same aspects of the masculine gender role and how these aspects are incorporated into the lives of both men and women. The failure to find any predictive relationships between either self-esteem or self-concept for alcohol consumption was very surprising, given previous research in this area (e.g., Pullen, 1994; Corbin et al., 1996; Walitzer & Sher, 1996). The researchers predicted not only that both self-esteem and self-concept would reliably predict alcohol consumption, but that self-concept would provide a more precise predictor of alcohol consumption. Neither of these predictions were supported in the regression analysis. This finding may be due to the relatively high levels of self-esteem in the sample. Using a high cut off to delineate high self-esteem (31-40) a full 67.5% of the sample were classified in the high range (SD = .47). Similarly, scores for each factor of self-concept were also relatively high (A/L = 38.60, SD = 5.37; ADJ =36.44, SD = 6.33; CS = 24.59, SD = 3.47; M/F = 12.72, SD = 2.94). These findings suggest that the sample used was very similar, most had both high self-concept and self-esteem, with low levels of variability. These high levels of self-concept and self-esteem across participants are uncommon in most studies and may explain the failure of these factors to predict alcohol consumption. The authors feel compelled to point out that these conclusions must be considered within the context of the extremely low alcohol consumption rates for this sample (see Figure 1), compared to national averages. Recent figures indicate that 25% of college students can be classified as heavy drinkers (Ziegler, 1998). Carey (1995) found that 60% of the college students in her study fit the current definition of binge drinking (5 or more drinks in a row on at least one occasion). The authors speculate that the low alcohol rates were due, largely, to the fact that all students must commute to campus. Therefore, continued research aiming at a broader cross-section of college campuses, especially those that are residential, should result in a more comprehensive picture of alcohol usage among college students.
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