Self‐Perceptions, Normative Beliefs, and Substance Use Associated With High School Girls Comparing Themselves to Peers
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BACKGROUND: We assessed whether self-descriptions, self-perceptions, perceived substance use of friends, and actual substance use were associated with high school girls' frequency of making social comparisons to peers. METHODS: We analyzed data from the Adolescent Health Risk Behavior Survey data for 357 high school girls using multinomial logistic regression. RESULTS: Compared to those who "never/rarely" made social comparisons, participants who self-described as fearing something constantly (p = .014) and forced to imitate the people they like (p = .009) were more likely to "usually" compare themselves to peers. Participants who described themselves as feeling forced to imitate the people they like (p = .022), were not the person they would like to be (p = .005), and did not remain calm under pressure (p = .010), were more likely to "often/always" make social comparisons. Participants who perceived themselves as unattractive (p = .034) and self-centered (p = .016) were more likely to "often/always" make social comparisons. Participants who perceived a larger proportion of friends use illicit drugs were less likely to "usually" make social comparisons (p = .027). Participants who perceived a larger proportion of friends drink alcohol were more likely to "often/always" make social comparisons (p = .018). CONCLUSIONS: Girls who perceive and describe themselves more negatively are at increased odds of making social comparisons to peers.
author list (cited authors)
Merianos, A. L., Mahabee‐Gittens, E. M., Jacobs, W., Oloruntoba, O., Barry, A. E., & Smith, M. L.