Document Detail

The influence of race and religion on abstinence from alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana among adolescents.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  14743948     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: Past research has not fully explained why black youth are less likely than white youth to use alcohol and other substances. One plausible yet underexamined explanation is the "religion hypothesis," which posits that black youth are more likely than white youth to abstain because they are more religious than white youth. The present study tested this hypothesis empirically. METHOD: The study examined data from large, nationally representative samples of white and black 10th graders from the Monitoring the Future project. RESULTS: Relative to white students, black students are more likely to abstain from alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana and are more highly religious. Consistent with the "religiosity hypothesis," race differences in abstinence are substantially reduced when race differences in religiosity are controlled. Unexpectedly, however, highly religious white youth are more likely than highly religious black youth to abstain from alcohol and marijuana use. CONCLUSIONS: Although religion is an important protective factor against alcohol and other substance use for both white and black adolescents, it appears to impact white youth at an individual level, whereas for black youth the influence of religion seems greatest at the group level. Future research should seek to better understand the mechanisms through which religion promotes adolescents' abstinence from the use of drugs and should seek to explain why the magnitude of its effect varies for black and white adolescents.
John M Wallace; Tony N Brown; Jerald G Bachman; Thomas A LaVeist
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of studies on alcohol     Volume:  64     ISSN:  0096-882X     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Stud. Alcohol     Publication Date:  2003 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-01-27     Completed Date:  2004-05-11     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7503813     Medline TA:  J Stud Alcohol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  843-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
University of Michigan School of Social Work and Institute for Social Research, 426 Thompson Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106-1248, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*,  psychology
Chi-Square Distribution
Confidence Intervals
Continental Population Groups / psychology,  statistics & numerical data*
Marijuana Smoking / epidemiology*,  psychology
Odds Ratio
Smoking / epidemiology*,  psychology
Temperance / psychology,  statistics & numerical data*
Grant Support

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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