Examining Dimensions of Religiosity as Protective Factors Against Substance Abuse in Teenagers: Evidence from Spain

Posted: 5 Apr 2022

Date Written: February 14, 2022

Abstract

Variables that influence substance abuse by teenagers are key topics in public health literature. In a sample from Tarragona (Spain) (N=1,935 adolescents), we tested whether religion is a protecting factor against substance use. We found that religion is indeed a protective factor against substance abuse since the Odd Ratio (OR) registered for at least one dimension linked to religiosity was consistently below in all fitted regressions, compared to the incidence of non-believing adolescents. However, the degree of statistical significance depended on the substance assessed. Protection is clearer for tobacco and cannabis than it is for alcohol. Religion has a significant ability to prevent substance use. We identified three dimensions in religion: faith, rituality and the religious environment. Being a practitioner is clearly a protective factor. On the other hand, environment appears to be less of a protective factor while simply being a believer has not a preventive effect at all.

Keywords: Substance use by adolescents, faith; cult attendance, religious environment, family environment

Suggested Citation

de Andrés-Sánchez, Jorge and Belzunegui-Eraso, Angel and Fenandez-Aliseda, Sonia and Inma Pastor-Gosalbez, Inma, Examining Dimensions of Religiosity as Protective Factors Against Substance Abuse in Teenagers: Evidence from Spain (February 14, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4034743

Jorge De Andrés-Sánchez (Contact Author)

University Rovira i Virgili ( email )

Spain

Angel Belzunegui-Eraso

Independent ( email )

Sonia Fenandez-Aliseda

Independent ( email )

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