A growing literature has linked religiousness and spirituality (R/S) to substance use and abuse. However, it is not clear that R/S has causal effects on substance use. Currently, there is a relative lack of genetically sensitive examinations in the literature attendant to R/S effects. Given that behavioral genetic analyses have illustrated the influence of genetic factors on substance use and adherence to R/S worldviews, genetic confounding is a concern. The current study employed a sample of monozygotic twins discordant on religiousness, spirituality, and spiritual transformation to assess effects on substance use and abuse. Bivariate and multivariate models indicated a general lack of effect of R/S on substance use and abuse but did illustrate a dampening influence of religiousness on general (but not problematic) alcohol use. The findings highlight the importance of controlling for genetic and shared familial factors in examinations of the religiousness-spirituality-substance use nexus.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health