The present study investigated whether participants with a high propensity for alcoholism demonstrate the same linguistic pattern previously established for depression in response to a personal essay. It was hypothesized that students with a higher propensity for alcoholism would display a similar linguistic style when compared to those with symptoms of depression; specifically students with a higher propensity for alcohol abuse or dependence would use more first person singular pronouns and less first person plural pronouns. They were also hypothesized to use more negative emotion words similar to those with symptoms of depression. Participants completed a writing exercise that was analyzed using the Linguistic Inquiry Word Count software (Pennebaker, Booth, & Francis, 2007). The data was analyzed using Pearson Bivariate Correlations. The participants completed a writing exercise, the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, the Beck Depression Inventory, Marlowe-Crowne Short Form, and a short demographic survey, respectively. The correlation between s propensity for alcoholism and symptoms of depression was not significant and the linguistic patterns varied substantially from the hypotheses. Even though the hypotheses were not supported, there were significant correlations between propensity for alcoholism and linguistic choices. The potential for linguistic analysis to be developed into an indirect assessment of alcohol dependence is discussed as a way to minimize the difficulties surrounding self-report methods.
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Whitten, Shannon N.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
UCF Palm Bay
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Sanders, Sarah, "Exploring the linguistic styles of students with a propensity for alcoholism and students with symptoms of depression" (2013). HIM 1990-2015. 1460.