Differences between White and Black young women in the relationship between religious service attendance and alcohol involvement

Arpana Agrawal, Julia D. Grant, Jon Randolph Haber, Pamela A.F. Madden, Andrew C. Heath, Kathleen K. Bucholz, Carolyn E. Sartor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background and Objectives: We examined the associations of religious attendance during childhood (C-RA) and adulthood (A-RA) with alcohol involvement (ever drinking, timing of first alcohol use, and alcohol use disorder [AUD]) in White and Black female twins. As genetic and environmental factors influence religious attendance and alcohol involvement, we examined the extent to which they contribute to their association. Methods: Data on 3,234 White and 553 Black female twins (18–29 years) from the Missouri Adolescent Female twin Study. Significant correlations between C-RA or A-RA and alcohol involvement were parsed into their additive genetic, shared environmental, and individual-specific environmental sources. Results: C-RA was associated with ever drinking and timing of first alcohol use in Whites. A-RA was associated with ever drinking and AUD in both Whites and Blacks. Shared environmental influences did not contribute to alcohol or religiosity phenotypes in Blacks. In Whites, the association between C-RA and alcohol was due to shared environmental influences, whereas the association between A-RA and alcohol was attributable to additive genetic, shared environmental, and individual-specific environmental sources. Individual-specific environment and genetics contributed to associations between A-RA and ever drinking and AUD, respectively, in Blacks. Conclusions: Factors other than C-RA contribute to lower rates of alcohol involvement in Blacks. Shared environment does not contribute to links between A-RA and alcohol involvement in Blacks. Scientific Significance: The protective impact of childhood religiosity on alcohol use and misuse is important in Whites and is due to familial factors shared by religiosity and alcohol involvement. (Am J Addict 2017;26:437–445).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-445
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal on Addictions
Volume26
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2017

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