Does Religion Protect Teens From Alcohol Abuse?

Tanya Button, a postdoctoral fellow in behavioral genetics at the University of Colorado Boulder, studied identical and fraternal twins in adolescence and early adulthood and found that:

genetic factors could influence problem alcohol use more in nonreligious adolescents than adolescents with a greater religious outlook. This attenuation in religious participants indicates that religiosity exerted a strong enough influence over the behavior of religious individuals to override any genetic predisposition. The same was not true for young adults, however, for whom the genetic influence was consistent across levels of religiosity.

The researchers aren’t sure why the effect doesn’t hold for young adults, but suggest it may be because there is greater social control in our teenage years.

Category: Findings

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One Response

  1. Perry Milici says:

    Alcohol abuse is a pattern of drinking that results in harm to one’s health, interpersonal relationships, or ability to work. According to Gelder, Mayou & Geddes (2005) alcohol abuse is linked with suicide. They state the risk of suicide is high in older men who have a history of drinking, as well as those suffering from depression.

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