Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 267-289

First online:

The Impact of Personality and Religion on Attitudes toward Alcohol among 16–18 Year Olds in Northern Ireland

  • Leslie J. FrancisAffiliated withWelsh National Centre for Religious Education, University of Wales Email author 
  • , Michael FearnAffiliated withWelsh National Centre for Religious Education, University of Wales
  • , Christopher Alan LewisAffiliated withSchool of Psychology, University of Ulster at Magee College

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Background: Previous research demonstrates a negative relationship between attitude toward alcohol and religiosity. However, what is less apparent is if this relationship may, at least in part, be a function of individual differences in personality, as previous research has demonstrated a relationship between certain measures of personality and both attitude toward alcohol and attitude toward religiosity. The aim of the present study was to explore the impact of personality and the relative efficacy of different markers of religiosity in predicting attitude toward alcohol among a sample of 16–18 year olds in Northern Ireland. Method: The Francis Scale of Attitude toward Alcohol (Francis, 1992c. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 31, 45–50) was administered alongside the Abbreviated Revised Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (Francis, Brown, & Philipchalk, 1992. Personality and Individual Differences, 13(4), 443–449), the Francis Scale of Attitude toward Christianity (Francis & Stubbs, 1987. Personality and Individual Differences, 8, 741–743) and measures of frequency of personal prayer and church attendance among a sample of 243 16- to 18-year-old sixth-form students in Northern Ireland. Results and conclusion: The data demonstrate that a more prohibitive attitude toward alcohol was correlated with lower psychoticism scores (tendermindedness) and a more positive attitude toward Christianity. Multiple-regression analyses confirm the importance of attitude toward religion in predicting individual differences in attitude toward alcohol.


adolescence alcohol Northern Ireland personality religion