Year of Publication

2015

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Charles R. Carlson

Abstract

Research has consistently demonstrated a negative association between religiosity and college students’ alcohol consumption. However, few studies have explored the unique roles religious beliefs and behaviors might play in this relationship. Using 283 underage college students, we investigated the influence of internal and external factors on drinking behaviors for students with differing combinations of religious beliefs and religious behaviors. Tests of mediation and mediated-moderation were used to help explain the unique influences beliefs and behaviors have on alcohol consumption. Results indicated that religious beliefs only functioned as a protective-factor against underage drinking when accompanied by religious behaviors; students with high religious beliefs but low religious behaviors exhibited the highest rates of alcohol consumption. Positive affect experienced during alcohol consumption mediated the relationship between religious beliefs and alcohol consumption. Drinking norms and social availability of alcohol mediated the association between religious behaviors and alcohol consumption. Both positive affect and negative affect were found to partially mediate the interaction between religious beliefs and behaviors on student alcohol consumption. Findings from this study may aid in the formulation of a more comprehensive model for the relationship between religiosity and alcohol consumption in young college students.

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