Abood et al (1992) found a significant relationship between self-esteem and general health behaviour.
Its is claimed that people with lower self-esteem use addictions as self-defeating ways to escape self-awareness
There is research by Niemz et al (2005) that pathological internet use is associated with lower levels of self esteem measured with the Rosenberg self-esteem scale.
Attributions for addiction
People use an 'Attribution' to blame their addiction on. For instance a smoker may blame the addictive properties of nicotine to excuse their addiction.They beleive these Attributions are beyond their control.
They use these attributions as justification for themselves.
There is an issue that once a person gets branded as an addict or sees themselves as addicted they then adopt a whole new set of characteristics which makes it even more difficult for them to give up as they develop a mental block.
There is gender bias in attributions as research has found that men take more responsibility for their abuse of substances than women do.
Social Context of Addiction
Research has found that smokers, especially adolecants, tend to befriend other smokers and non smokers befriend non smokers.
The Social Learning Theory states that learning happens through observation and based on this young people are most likely to imitate behaviours by those whom they have most social contact.
The Social Identity Theory - Assumes that an individual will adopt the norms within their social group which characterises the identity of the group.
There is a clear difference in research that shows age differences with pressure peaking at adolescence in order to fit in and decreasing over time but this is when they are most likely to give in.
The SLT idea is supported by adolecants seeing the bahviour as rewarding as it supposedly promoted popularity.
An issue with this sort of research is that it could be socially sensitive.