The prevalence of heavy alcohol use among college students is a concern among educators and health practicioners. According to Problem Behavior Theory, religious orientation is a protective factor against hazardous alcohol use. Religiosity is multidimensional and encompasses intrinsic and extrinsic religious orientations. Research has found that dimensions of religious orientation may be differentially associated with alcohol use among college students. The present study examined the different aspects of religiosity (intrinsic, extrinsic personal, extrinsic social) and their relevance to hazardous alcohol use. Another known correlate of alcohol use is alcohol expectancies. Research has found that alcohol expectancies, such as negative self-perception expectancies, are associated with lower levels of alcohol use. Moreover, Social Learning Theory suggests that socio-cultural factors (e.g. religious beliefs) can influence cognitions (e.g. alcohol use expectations) which may in turn impact behavior (e.g. alcohol use). Thus, I also tested the mediating role of negative self-perception expectancies and valuations on the relationship between religiosity and hazardous alcohol use. Findings showed that intrinsic religiosity was negatively associated with hazardous alcohol use. Furthermore, negative self-perception expectancies mediated the relationship between intrinsic religiosity and hazardous alcohol use. The findings shed light on the importance of intrinsic religious orientation as a protective factor against harmful drinking behaviors among college students.
McCollum, Elan, "Dimensions of religious orientation and hazardous alcohol use among college students" (2008). Honors Project, Smith College, Northampton, MA.
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