CRVAW Faculty Journal Articles


Religiousness, Spirituality, and Social Support: How Are They Related to Underage Drinking Among College Students?


The U.S. Surgeon General has declared underage drinking among college students a major health issue for the nation, making it imperative that researchers delineate factors which predict and protect against it. Research suggests religiousness and spirituality might be protective factors, but methodological limitations make it difficult to know for sure or under what conditions. This study examined (1) multiple facets of religiousness and spirituality, (2) their associations with alcohol use, and (3) whether these facets interact with social support in predicting use. Findings indicate that religiousness and spirituality are differentially associated with alcohol use, and that only certain aspects of religiousness (intrinsic but not extrinsic) are related to lower levels of alcohol use. Moreover, social support interacts with only certain aspects of religiousness (extrinsic) and spirituality (universality) in predicting alcohol use and problems. The importance of distinguishing religiousness from spirituality, assessing multiple facets of each construct, and assessing multiple indicators of alcohol use is discussed.

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