A Correlational Analysis of Self-Esteem Levels and Involvement in Risky Behaviors Among Female Freshman College Students

A Correlational Analysis of Self-Esteem Levels and Involvement in Risky Behaviors Among Female Freshman College Students

Author: 
Revlon B. Briggs
Program of study: 
D.H.A.
Abstract: 
The purpose of the quantitative correlational study was to determine through statistical comparisons any significant differences between self-esteem levels and involvement in risky behaviors such as alcohol consumption, marijuana and other drug use, sexual behavior, safety, violence-related behavior, and other health-related issues among first-time female college students. The participants were 18 and 19 year-old students enrolled in freshman orientation sessions at an institution of higher learning in middle Tennessee. A convenience sample of 114 female college students was surveyed using the 10-item Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale to determine self-esteem levels and 32 questions selected from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey to assess their involvement in risky behaviors. Study results indicated a slight correlation between the independent variable, self-esteem levels, and the dependent variables, in four of seven categories tested (alcohol consumption, marijuana use, other drugs, and sexual behavior). As self-esteem levels increased among the target population, involvement in the alcohol consumption, marijuana use, other drugs, and sexual behavior risky behaviors decreased. The study results did not reflect any correlation between self-esteem levels and risky behaviors associated with safety, violence-related behaviors or other health-related issues. The study was limited because a convenience sample of female college students, ages 18 and 19, was used as study participants. Further research is warranted to include a diverse and larger study population because of the limitations of this study.
Dedication: 
This dissertation is dedicated to the people who encouraged and supported me through the doctoral journey. You continued to provide positive words even when I wanted to give up. Thanks to my three loving daughters: Gisele, Lore’al, and Bryant D’en. You were my number one cheering section by telling me you can do it when it seemed impossible. Thomas, my husband, thanks for the sacrifices you made when coursework was my priority. To my mother, Maxine Bryant, who always stressed the importance of striving for excellence in all things, you are my role model for academic excellence. Thanks to the chair and members of my dissertation committee, Dr. Terry Howard, Dr. Rosemary Theriot, and Dr. Thomas Mazintas. The completion of this dissertation was achieved because of your guidance and support. And to all those people who constantly asked when I would finish; it is finished. Finally, I thank God Almighty because with Him all things are possible.
Acknowledgements: 
I want to acknowledge Dr. Alice Cusimano. You are an extraordinary leader and confidante. Thank you for inspiring and supporting me during the difficult times in my life. You provided an environment for growth and development in every area of my life, and I am eternally grateful. Thanks to the college freshman students who participated in this research study as well as my colleagues, Drs. Owen Johnson, Bonnie Chakravorty, and Mohamed Kanu, who provided their input, support, and encouragement during the stressful times. Wanda Burrell, my friend and colleague, you are a blessing from God. Thank you for always being there to calm me with your prayers, encouraging words, and nutritional snacks when I needed them most. A special thanks to Attorney David Danner and Dr. Rosemary Theriot for assistance with securing signatures from administrators at the study institution when obstacles occurred.