Religious perceptions of alcohol consumption and drinking behaviours among religious and non-religious groups

Laian Z. Najjar, Chelsie M. Young, Leigh Leasure, Craig E. Henderson, Clayton Neighbors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Evidence indicates that religious involvement is associated with lower levels of alcohol consumption. However, mechanisms underlying the specific effects of religion on alcohol behaviours are still not entirely clear. This study examined potential differences in religious perceptions of alcohol consumption (RePAC) among Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, and non-religious individuals, and between Catholic and Baptist Christian denominations. We also assessed whether these perceptions were associated with quantity and frequency of drinking. Participants (N = 495; 79% female) aged 18 and above completed self-report measures of alcohol consumption and religious perceptions of alcohol use. Findings indicated that non-religious individuals and Buddhists reported higher RePAC scores (i.e., more favourable attitudes toward alcohol use), followed by Christians and then Muslims. Drinking quantity was more strongly associated with RePAC for Buddhists and Christians than the same association for non-religious participants. These results provide preliminary evidence linking religious perceptions of alcohol to drinking behaviours across religious affiliations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1028-1041
Number of pages14
JournalMental Health, Religion and Culture
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 20 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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