Religiosity as a protective factor against heavy episodic drinking (HED) in heterosexual, bisexual, gay, and lesbian young adults

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31 Scopus citations


Although religiosity has been shown to be associated with positive outcomes in studies of general population samples, few studies have considered the potential differential effect of religiosity on those who are consolidating gay, lesbian, or bisexual (GLB) identities. Logistic regression analyses using a sample of 13,038 emerging adults from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health (Add Health) revealed main effects for religiosity and a significant religiosity × sexual identity interaction in women. Specifically, religiosity was protective against alcohol use and heavy episodic drinking (HED) in heterosexual women, but not lesbian women. In bisexual women, higher religiosity increased the odds of alcohol use and HED. Among men, religiosity was protective, with no differential effects based on sexual identity. Prevention efforts should consider that individual religiosity may be a risk, rather than protective factor for some young adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1039-1050
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Homosexuality
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research used data from Add Health, a program project designed by J. Richard Udry, Peter S. Bearman, and Kathleen Mullan Harris, and funded by Grant No. P01-HD31921 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, with cooperative funding from 17 other agencies. Special acknowledgement is due Ronald R. Rindfuss and Barbara Entwisle for assistance in the original design. Persons interested in obtaining data files from Add Health should contact Add Health, Carolina Population Center, 123 W. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27516-2524.


  • Binge drinking
  • Bisexual
  • Gay
  • Heavy episodic drinking
  • Lesbian
  • Religiosity
  • Young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Psychology (all)


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