Faculty Publications

Publication Date

January 2008


Although the study results report discrepancies in the rates of substance abuse in the lesbian community, the general consensus in the field of gay and lesbian studies is that these individuals, as a whole, have a higher rate of substance use. For this study, data were collected via the Internet on the use of drugs and alcohol, level of self-esteem, and degree of social identity in the lesbian community. A correlation analysis was used to determine if negative social identity within the lesbian community leads to low self-esteem that is reflected in higher rates of substance abuse. Though a positive relationship between social identity and self-esteem was determined, no significant correlation between negative social identity, low self-esteem, and substance use was determined. However, it is important to consider that respondents with higher levels of self-esteem reported more frequent use of specific drugs. That outcome in itself is an implication for further investigation.


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