The Self-Esteem Theory of Deviance
In the late 1960s Steffenhagen began doing drug research on the college campus. His research was fundamentally empirical in origin, with a focus on sociodemographic and psychological correlates involved in drug use and abuse. He and his coresearcher, Dr. Christopher McAree, under the auspices of an NIMH grant, focused their research upon getting data, sociodemographic and sociological, on male and female users and nonusers on a college campus. Part of the research grant was therapy oriented and they engaged in student drug therapy over a period of years. This empirical research stimulated a theoretical interest on his part and Steffenhagen became concerned with focusing on the why of drug abuse. As a result of his association with Heinz Ansbacher, one of the foremost U.S. Adlerian psychologists, he reinterpreted his early data in an Adlerian context and found that within the Adlerian framework he was able to explain with much greater detail and clarity what previously seemed somewhat obscure. Too often empiric research, theoretic research, and therapeutic application are three totally separate and distinct areas of academic focus. As a result of his original empiric research, however, he developed a theoretical focus and became concerned with understanding and explaining drug abuse in terms
Material for Chapters 3 and 4 were adapted from R. A. Steffenhagen, "An Adlerian Approach toward a Self-Esteem Theory of Deviance: A Drug Abuse Model," Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education, 24(1) ( 1978): 1-3; and later from R. A. Steffenhagen, ed., Hypnotic techniques for Increasing Self-Esteem ( New York: Irvington, 1983), Ch. 4. Material for the section on the sociopsychological theory of deviance in Chapter 3 appeared in Deviant Behavior 5 ( 1984): 23-30, as "Self-Esteem and Anomie: An Integration of Adler and Merton as a Theory of Deviance," by R. A. Steffenhagen. Reprinted by permission.