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 - 12:30 PM

Abstract #71314

Religiousness and risk for addiction: The case of alcohol and drug abuse

Mary Waterman, MPH, Health Policy, Arthritis Foundation, 4455 Connecticut Ave NW #305, Washington, DC 20008, 202-537-2257,, Corey L. M. Keyes, PhD, Sociology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Rm. 225 Tarbutton Hall, 1555 Pierce Dr., Atlanta, GA 30322, and Nancy J. Thompson, MPH, PhD, Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University, 1518 Clifton Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30322.

Addiction is a serious physical and psychological illness that leads to psychosocial impairment and distress. Formal religious practices have been hypothesized to regulate personal experiences and behavior, such as drug and alcohol use, and structure personal beliefs and values; and drug use has been found to be negatively associated with religious involvement and church attendance has been related to decreased alcohol consumption. The provision of social integration is a leading explanation for the health benefits of religiousness. Using a large and representative sample of adults, this study investigates whether distinct indicators of religiousness are associated with risk for alcohol and substance abuse. The sociological theory of Social Integration guided this research. Controlling for a variety of factors, including social support, logistic regression was used to compute forced entry stepwise models to determine the relationship between religious variables and substance (drug and alcohol) abuse. Bivariate analyses were also computed. Odds ratios were examined and showed that there were no statistically significant relationships between the religious variables and alcohol abuse. Drug abuse was negatively associated with church attendance but positively associated with religious devotion. The strengths and weaknesses and study limitations will be discussed. Additionally, implications for public health and recommendations for future research will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:

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