Research has shown a link between drug and alcohol behaviors and self-control; however, much of the research focuses on only the general theory of crime (Gottfredson and Hirschi 1990), without regard to Hirschi’s (2004) self-control theory. The purpose of the current study is to examine three measures of Hirschi’s self-control theory and to understand the link between Hirschi’s self-control theory and drug and alcohol behaviors. This study draws from a sample of undergraduate college students (N = 640) to examine the role of Hirschi’s self-control in the explanation of drug and alcohol behaviors. The current study uses a previous measure of Hirschi’s self-control [i.e., decisional self-control (alcohol)] and two measures (i.e., decisional self-control (cheat) and bond-based self-control) created by the researchers to analyze drug and alcohol behaviors. Results indicated that self-control based in social bonds (i.e., bond-based self-control) was significantly related to all drug and alcohol behaviors. The cost/salience scale measuring cheating behaviors [i.e., decisional self-control (cheat)] was significantly related to marijuana/hashish use, and the cost/salience scale measuring drinking and driving [i.e., decisional self-control (alcohol)] was significantly related to zero drug and alcohol behaviors. Results indicate that developing strong social bonds as a form of self-control can reduce the likelihood of drug and alcohol behaviors.
Mathna, Brooke E.; Roberts, Jennifer J.; and Koen, Marthinus C.
"A Comparison of Self-Control Measures and Drug and Alcohol Use among College Students,"
Midwest Social Sciences Journal: Vol. 23:
1, Article 6.
Available at: https://scholar.valpo.edu/mssj/vol23/iss1/6
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