A recent study by University of Houston researchers has identified a connection between alcohol problems, low self esteem, and jealousy. The study found that individuals who rely on their personal romantic relationship for a sense of self esteem typically use alcohol when they experience jealousy. The study and research results have been published in the Addictive Behaviors journal. This is the very first study that identifies a definite connection between relationship dependent self esteem, romantic jealousy, and alcohol problems. The researchers believe that people who have a higher risk of alcoholism can be better identified when the link between these 3 different factors are understood. When this process is fully understood it could lead to better treatment methods for alcohol addiction.
Dr. Angelo DiBello, lead study author of the research on alcohol problems, jealousy, and self esteem, explained the study. “We all experience feelings of jealousy to some degree; many people are in relationships that are less than ideal, and use alcohol for different reasons. Romantic jealousy is a shared human experience, but very little work has looked at how it is related to alcohol use, misuse and associated problems. This research helps to highlight the associations between these factors and show how our emotions, thoughts, and behaviors are related in potentially harmful ways. Given how common experiencing jealousy and being in romantic relationships are, this work helps to explain difference associations that may negatively impact an individual’s drinking. I think it is important to understand the role romantic jealousy plays in the larger context of problem behaviors. Ultimately, I hope to use findings like these to support the development of prevention and intervention efforts among individuals who may struggle with alcohol, self-esteem, and relationship issues.”