Dr. Cataldie's Corner

Science Meets Religion – Again

We have previously talked about the Five “A’s” that put young people at risk for substance abuse: Availability, Awareness, Acceptability, Adolescent Brain, Assessment of Risk. One of the five major reasons that adolescents and young adults use alcohol and or drugs for the first time is “Acceptability by others of that use” also called  perceived “social acceptance” also called perceived  “social norms”. We used to call it peer pressure. The terms are not that relevant but what is relevant is that adolescents and young adults want to fit into a peer group. That is an undeniable fact. So working with that fact, much research has focused on what might be a protective way to promote healthy peer group selection. Here is some of the latest research and I do mean the latest as in for publication of the May 2013 issue of the Journal of the Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. Ready?  Here it is: “Incorporating religious or spiritual values into student interventions may be a promising direction to pursue.” There’s more: “greater frequency of church attendance may be related to lower odds of the development or maintenance of an alcohol use disorder.” Really! These results would definitely not have surprised my grandmother. She told me God would help me protect me from myself on several occassions. She was right, again. But it’s nice to have the scientific data to back up not so common “common sense”. Have a blessed Easter

Journal of the Studies on Alcohol and Drugs Reliance on God, Prayer, and Religion Reduces Influence of Perceived Norms on Drinking (Volume 74, 2013, Issue 3, May 2013)
Clayton Neighbors, Garrett A. Brown, Angelo M. Dibello, Lindsey M. Rodriguez, Dawn W. Foster
Stimulant Use, Religiosity, and the Odds of Developing or Maintaining an Alcohol Use Disorder Over Time
Tyrone F. Borders, Brenda M. Booth (Volume 74, 2013, Issue 3, May 2013)

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