Maternal and personal religious engagement as predictors of early onset and frequent substance use

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


Background and Objective:

This study examined whether maternal and offspring's religiosity independently predict age of onset and frequency of substance use in offspring, and whether gender differentiates these associations.


Data were from the Mater Hospital and University of Queensland Study of Pregnancy, a birth cohort study. Participants were a cohort of 3,537 persons who were born during 1981–83 and were followed-up to 21 years. Odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were used to estimate relative risk of substance use.


Both maternal and offspring's religious practice were associated with later onset and less frequent substance use. After adjustment for potential confounding and maternal religious background, offspring who were not attending church were more likely to report early onset of tobacco smoking (OR = 5.1; 95% CI: 2.8–9.4), alcohol drinking (OR = 17.4; 95% CI: 8.9–33.9) and cannabis use (OR = 7.5; 95% CI: 3.4–16.0).

Discussion and Conclusions:

Findings of this study suggest family and personal religious practices are predictors of less substance use problems in adolescents and young adult males and females.

Scientific Significance and Future Directions:

Religious engagement functions as a deterrent to adolescent tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis use. (Am J Addict 2014;23:363–370)

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles