Longitudinal associations among religiousness, delay discounting, and substance use initiation in early adolescence

Jungmeen Kim-Spoon, Michael McCullough, Warren K. Bickel, Julee P. Farley, Gregory S. Longo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations


Prior research indicates that religiousness is related negatively to adolescent health risk behaviors, yet how such protective effects operate is not well understood. This study examined the longitudinal associations among organizational and personal religiousness, delay discounting, and substance use initiation (alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana use). The sample was comprised of 106 early adolescents (10-13 years of age, 52% female) who were not using substances at Time 1. Path analyses suggested that high levels of personal religiousness at Time 1 were related to low levels of substance use at Time 2 (2.4 years later), mediated by low levels of delay discounting. Delay discounting appears to be an important contributor to the protective effect of religiousness on the development of substance use among adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-43
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cultural Studies

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