Religiosity and Risk - The Influence of Adolescent Faith on Behavior

This study examined the relationship between various measures of religiosity, including intrinsic and extrinsic religious orientation, vertical and horizontal faith maturity, Christian orthodoxy, and religious practice, and the adolescent risk behaviors of drug, alcohol and tobacco use, delinquency, and depression and suicide attempts. This study also investigated the indirect link between these risk behaviors and religion through depression. The current investigation builds on previous research suggesting that religion does play a role in adolescent behavior, but intended to identify more specifically those religious factors responsible. The data analyzed came from Valuegenesis 2 : A Study of the Influence of Family, Church and School on the Formation of Faith in Seventh-day Adventists. This information was gathered by survey for the Seventh-day Adventist Church and included 10,832 adolescent respondents enrolled in church run schools. Analysis of the data using regression techniques found that stronger degrees of religiosity were generally associated with fewer risk behaviors. Intrinsic religiosity and vertical faith maturity were found to reduce all three of the risk behaviors, while extrinsic religiosity led to increased behaviors. The results related to faith maturity were varied, and were not as predicted in all cases, indicating a more complicated relationship. In addition, the study found that religiosity, in contributing to less depression in adolescents, further resulted in reduced risk behaviors.

Licence Type:
Publication Date:
Tonya R Perry
Order Information:
Full text available online through ProQuest Digital Dissertations. Completed through La Sierra University.
Resource Type:
Papers & Plans; Internet Resources
Resource Objective:
Teacher / Faculty, Parent / Informal Education, Researcher
Religious Origin:
Seventh-day Adventist