The factor structure of self-esteem and its association with alcohol use in American Indian (AI) adolescents.

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American Indian (AI) adolescents experience disproportionately higher rates of alcohol use and related consequences. While self-esteem has been found to be associated with alcohol use in non-AI samples, little is known about this relationship in AI adolescents. Further, there is a dearth of literature examining the psychometric properties of self-esteem measures for AI adolescents. The current study aims to examine the factor structure of the self-esteem items of the American Drug and Alcohol Survey (ADAS) and to better understand the relationships among self-esteem, alcohol use, and alcohol-related problems in AI adolescents. The present study represents secondary analyses of cross-sectional data collected between 2009 and 2013. Participants (n = 3,498) were AI adolescents (Mage = 14.8, 47.7% female) attending schools on or near reservations across 11 states. Participants completed the American Drug and Alcohol Survey. Factor analytic results suggested 2 factors, representing intrapersonal (from intrinsic sources) and interpersonal self-esteem (from extrinsic sources). Multilevel regression analyses revealed that, with both factors entered into the model, intrapersonal self-esteem was negatively associated with alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems, while interpersonal self-esteem was positively associated with alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems. Results suggest the importance of examining the properties of assessment tools before they are used with a community for whom they were not developed. Further, self-esteem does not appear to be universally protective. Rather, interventions should aim to consider sources from which AI adolescents are drawing self-esteem and focus on promoting more intrinsic sources rather than aiming to increase self-esteem in general. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)Public Policy Relevance Statement—Alcohol use is among the most pressing health disparities facing Indigenous communities. There is a call within these communities to consider factors which confer protection against the development of alcohol use and related problems. Results of the present study suggest the importance of understanding sources from which Indigenous adolescents draw self-esteem, as it is not universally protective. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)

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American Journal of Orthopsychiatry