183100 Religiosity and sexually transmitted diseases: How past, present, and continued religiosity affect STD incidence among young adults

Monday, October 27, 2008: 11:20 AM

Rachael S. Jackson , Unthsc, Center for Community Health, Fort Worth, TX
Sue Lurie, PhD , Social and Behavioral Sciences, School of Public Health, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, TX
Marcus Martin, PhD , University of North Texas Health Science Center, Dallas, TX
Kathryn Cardarelli, PhD , School of Public Health, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, TX
Studies have found that religiosity is associated with both risky and protective sexual behaviors among adolescents; but few studies have examined the link between religiosity and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in this population. We used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (n=13,738) to calculate youths' odds of developing an STD between 1994/1995 (Wave 1 [W1]) and 2000/2001 (Wave 3 [W3]), based on three measures of religiosity: past (W1) religiosity, present (W3) religiosity, and continued (W3 adjusted for W1) religiosity. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using logistic regression for the past and present religiosity models and using multilevel modeling for the continued religiosity model. All models were adjusted for gender, age, education, and family structure and stratified by race and religion, as these were identified as effect modifiers. Born-again Protestants were less likely to develop an STD if they had higher religiosity scores (W1 OR=0.893; CI=0.965, 1.070; W3 OR=0.717; CI=0.608, 0.844), but not-born-again Protestants were more likely to develop an STD with increasing religiosity scores (W1 OR=1.103; CI=1.016, 1.198). In the continued religiosity model, increased religiosity was significantly associated with increased odds of developing an STD among those who reported no religion at W3, and increased religiosity was most significantly associated with decreased odds of developing an STD for those who switched from no religion to Christianity over the study period. These data suggest that religiosity is related to STD incidence, but that religion significantly impacts the effect of religiosity on STD incidence.

Learning Objectives:
1. Understand that religiosity is directly related to STD incidence among American youth. 2. Appreciate that the relationship between religiosity and STD status is complex and varies by religion. 3. Recognize that multiple measures of religion/religiosity may be needed to fully understand the effect of religiosity on STD status.

Keywords: STD, Religion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I designed and conducted the study under the supervision of my thesis committee.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.