Empirical evidence suggests that religiousness is related negatively to adolescent substance use; yet, we know little about how such protective effects might occur. The current study examined whether parents' and adolescents' religiousness are associated positively with parental, religious, and self-monitoring, which in turn are related to higher self-control, thereby related to lower adolescent substance use. Participants were 220 adolescents (45 % female) who were interviewed at ages 10-16 and again 2.4 years later. Structural equation modeling analyses suggested that higher adolescents' religiousness at Time 1 was related to lower substance use at Time 2 indirectly through religious monitoring, self-monitoring, and self-control. Higher parents' religiousness at Time 1 was associated with higher parental monitoring at Time 2, which in turn was related to lower adolescent substance use at Time 2 directly and indirectly through higher adolescent self-control. The results illustrate that adolescents with high awareness of being monitored by God are likely to show high self-control abilities and, consequently, low substance use. The findings further suggest that adolescents' religiousness as well as their religious environments (e.g., familial context) can facilitate desirable developmental outcomes.
- Adolescent substance use
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)