Alcoholism/Drug AbuseReligion/ Spirituality

Religion and the influence of social contacts on alcohol use

It’s known that religiosity and the personal importance of religion are associated with lower levels of alcohol use among both adolescents and college students.

This study looked at the influence of the religious beliefs of close friends and typical college students on alcohol use.

First, the details.

  • 1,400 undergraduate students (61% women) reported their alcohol consumption, importance of religion, attitudes, and perceived norms.

And, the results.

  • Personal attitude on the importance of religion had the strongest influence on alcohol use.
  • This was followed by the approval of close friends.
  • To a lesser extent, the approval of typical college students was a factor.

The bottom line?
The authors concluded that personal attitudes and the perceived approval or disapproval of others might have an indirect effect on a person’s alcohol use. The significance of the influence of one’s social contacts depends on how close they are to you.

1/20/08 13:10 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.