Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Public Health

Degree Type

Master of Public Health


The purpose of this study was to determine the degree of substance use (alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs) among members of the lesbian community. Additionally, the investigator attempted to determine if there was a relationship between negative social identity and low selfesteem that is reflected in higher rates of substance abuse. The data collection method employed in this study was a type of nonprobability sampling procedure referred to as a purposive sample. The questionnaire was derived from instruments used by other researchers and validated by an expert panel. In order to select respondents from the lesbian population to be included in the sample, the survey was placed on a web page and posted on the Internet. Data were collected on 76 lesbian and bisexual female respondents during a seven-month period. Results from a Pearsons Correlation, one-tailed test of significance determined that there was a significant, positive relationship (pc.0001) between social identity and selfesteem. Though no significant relationship existed between social identity and substance abuse, respondents with higher levels of self-esteem reported significant uses of sedatives (pc.05), tranquilizers (p<.05), speed (pc.Ol), and inhalants (p<.05).


Gender and Sexuality | Public Health | Substance Abuse and Addiction