Alcohol milestones, risk factors, and religion/spirituality in young adult women

Jon Randolph Haber, Julia D. Grant, Theodore Jacob, Laura B. Koenig, Andrew Heath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Objective: The alcoholism research literature has long reported a significant, reliable, and inverse association between alcohol use disorders and religion/spirituality (R/S), and this is also evident in the period of highest risk-adolescence and young adulthood. In the treatment area, both clinical and mutual-help programs for alcohol use disorders often include a spiritual component, and outcome studies validate the efficacy of such programs. Even so, the alcoholism-R/S relationship is little understood. Method: The current study examined data from an existing sample of 4,002 female adolescents/young adults and their families. Data analyses examined five demographic, nine R/S, and eight risk-factor variables as predictors of five alcohol milestones: initial drink, first intoxication, regular use, heavy consumption, and alcohol dependence. Results: Results affirmed the known association between alcoholism risk factors and alcohol use milestones and also found moderate to strong associations between most R/S variables and these risk factors and milestones. A multivariate model simultaneously examining both sets of variables found that specific risk factors and specific R/S variables remained significant predictors of alcohol use milestones after accounting for all other variables. Mediation and moderation tests did not find evidence that R/S accounted for or qualified the relationship between alcohol risk factors and alcohol milestones. Conclusions: This study confirmed the multidimensional role of R/S influences within the etiological network of alcoholism risk and protective factors in adolescents/young adults and found R/S dimensions to be independent and substantial infl uences on alcohol use disorders rather than mediators or moderators of other risks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-43
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


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