God Forbid! Substance Use Among Religious and Nonreligious Youth


Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Institute, School of Social Work, Arizona State University, PO Box 873711, Tempe, AZ 85287-3711. E-mail: marsiglia@asu.edu


Among a predominately Mexican and Mexican American sample of preadolescents, religiosity protected against lifetime alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana use and recent alcohol and cigarette use when religious affiliation was controlled. When religiosity was controlled, however, adolescents with no religious affiliation and adolescents who were religiously affiliated reported similar substance use outcomes. Interaction effects demonstrated that the protective effect of greater religiosity operated more strongly in some religions than in others for selected outcomes. Overall, the impact of religiosity on reported drug use did not differ significantly for more and less acculturated Latino youth.