The unique effects of level of self-esteem, narcissism, and contingencies of self-worth assessed prior to college on alcohol use during the freshman year were examined in a longitudinal study of 620 college students. Narcissism predicted alcohol use, but level of self-esteem did not. Basing self-worth on appearance predicted more alcohol use, whereas the virtue, God's love, and academic competence contingencies predicted less alcohol use, independent of other personality measures and joining a sorority or a fraternity. Further, the virtue and academic competence contingencies were associated with decreases in alcohol use from the 1st to the 2nd semester.
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