The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3161.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - 1:24 PM

Abstract #68019

Religiosity as a protective factor against drug taking behavior among African-American adolescents

Denicia Fowler and Patricia Ann Clubb, PhD. Drug Abuse Research Program, Morgan State University, Montebello Complex, Room 103 D, Baltimore, MD 21251

Contrary to popular assumptions, epidemiological and empirical data indicate that African-American adolescents have substantially lower rates of use of most licit and illicit drugs than do other ethnic groups (Wallace & Bachman, 1991,1993; Allen & Page,1994; Johnson et. al. 1994; Amey & Albrecht, 1996). Focusing on the diversity of experience among young people, researchers have begun to explore the notion that even when multiple risks exist, many youths remain resilient and avoid the use of drugs (Bogenschneider, 1996). Consequently, extant research is seeking to describe individual and environmental safeguards that may moderate risk and buffer African-American youth against negative health behaviors, including drug use. This research examines whether the importance of religion and participation in religious activities act as protective factors against drug use in this group. The sample consists of 1,084 African-American youth enrolled in a school system in a Southeastern city school district. Students completed a health survey designed to elicit information regarding participation in various high risk behaviors. Statistical analyses included descriptive statistics and logistic regression analyses. Preliminary data show that approximately one-third (34%) of the adolescents reported drug use. Also, 28% reported that religion was very important, and 25% attend religious services more than once a month . These findings have implications for the development of culturally appropriate strategies and the provision of support given to adolescents involved in religious activities for the prevention of drug-taking behavior.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Adolescents, African American

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Risks and Protective Factors: Prevention of Substance Abuse

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA