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Religious Practices and Alcoholism in a Southern Adult Population
Harold G. Koenig; Linda K. George; Keith G. Meador; Dan G. Blazer; Stephen M. Ford
Psychiatric Services 1994; doi:
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Funding was provided by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health Clinical Research Center for the Study of Psychopathology in the Elderly (MH4O159) and the Epidemiologic Catchment Area program at Duke Urnversity Medical Center (MH35386 and MH43756).

Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina

1994 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Objective: The study examined associations between religious variables and alcobol abuse and dependence among 2,969 North Carolina residents aged 18 to 97 who participated in the 1983-1984 National Institute of Mental Health Epidemiologic Catcbment Area survey at its Piedmont location. Methods: Six-month and lifetime prevalence of alcohol disorders were compared among participants reporting varying levels of religious activity. Data were collected on frequency of Bible reading, prayer, and church attendance; time spent watching or listening to religious programming on television or radio; importance of religion; religious denomination; and identification as "born-again" Chris-tians. Results: Recent and lifetime alcohol disorders were less common among weekly churchgoers and those who considered themselves born again. Recent, but not lifetime, alcohol disorders were also less common among respondents who frequently read the Bible or prayed pnivately. Alcohol disorders were more common among those who frequently watched or listened to religious television and radio. Lifetime, but not recent, alcohol disorders were more prevalent among members of Pentecostal denominations. Conclusions: Longitudinal study is necessary to further clarify and explain these relationships between religious practices and alcobol disorders.

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