Religious Affiliation Influences on the Health Status and Behaviours of Students Attending Seventh-Day Adventist Schools in Australia
- 123 Downloads
Students attending Seventh-day Adventist (Adventist) schools in Australia have been shown to have better health status and behaviours compared to secular norms, yet these schools cater for a high percentage of non-Adventist students. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of religious affiliation (Adventist/non-Adventist) on the health status and behaviours of students attending Adventist secondary schools in Australia. The sample included 1734 students who responded to a health and lifestyle survey that captured demographic details, self-reported height and weight, self-reported health status, mental health and select health behaviours. Students who identified themselves as Adventist reported significantly better health behaviours than the non-Adventist students in several behavioural domains, especially among the male students. However, this did not translate to a difference in health status. Further research is needed to understand the causal mechanisms responsible for the potential health advantage of Adventist students, which may include family or church religious influences.
KeywordsAdolescent health status Adolescent health behaviours Religious affiliation Seventh-day Adventist
T.L.B and K.R.P received funding from the Seventh-day Adventist Church for the administration and data collection of the survey. The funder had no involvement in: study design, data analysis and interpretation of data, the writing of the paper or the decision to submit the manuscript for publication. No honoraria were involved in study authorship.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
Authors Bevan Adrian Craig, Darren Peter Morton, Lillian Marton Kent, Alva Barry Gane and Paul Meredith Rankin declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2011). Religion top 20—Australia. Retrieved from https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0ahUKEwjppcnz7-zMAhVF6aYKHQl7ANsQFggbMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.abs.gov.au%2Fwebsitedbs%2Fcensushome.nsf%2Fhome%2Fmediafactsheetsfirst%2F%24file%2FCensus-factsheet-religion.doc&usg=AFQjCNGBrVlu3RcKgXUIZSkHTONsvgATWQ&sig2=Y7DcQIy4XNfMqNiyssPOvw.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2008). Making progress: the health, development and wellbeing of Australia’s children and young people. Retrieved from http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CCgQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.aihw.gov.au%2FWorkArea%2FDownloadAsset.aspx%3Fid%3D6442459892&ei=xhBDVL3yG8LN8gXO04II&usg=AFQjCNH4LaZ6LTGLrDrGonQsQMOSmPTQNQ&sig2=4dBqOyVa0n2N4iEYKzJtgg.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2014). National drug strategy household survey detailed report 2013. Retrieved from http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=60129549469.
- Centre for Epidemiology and Research, NSW Department of Health. (2004). Health behaviours of secondary school students in NSW 2002. New South Wales Public Health Bulletin, 15(S-2).Google Scholar
- Fraser, G. E. (2003). Diet, life expectancy, and chronic disease: Studies of seventh-day adventists and other vegetarians (1st ed.). Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Goodwin, D. K., Knol, L. L., Eddy, J. M., Fitzhugh, E. C., Kendrick, O. W., & Donahue, R. E. (2006). The Relationship between self-rated health status and the overall quality of dietary intake of US adolescents. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 106(9), 1450–1453.Google Scholar
- National Health and Medical Research Council. (2013). Australian Dietary Guidelines. Retrieved from http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/national/resources/adolescents#.U7810lbtXud.
- Pitel, L., Madarasova Geckova, A., Kolarcik, P., Halama, P., Reijneveld, S. A., & van Dijk, J. P. (2012). Gender differences in the relationship between religiosity and health-related behaviour among adolescents. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 66(12), 1122–1128.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- RAND Health, 36-Item short form survey. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.rand.org/health/surveys_tools/mos/mos_core_36item.html.
- Sehulster, J. (1994). Health and self: paths for exploring cognitive aspects underlying self-report of health status. In S. Schechter (Ed.), Proceedings of the 1993 NCHS conference on the cognitive aspects of self-reported health status working paper, No. 10 (pp. 89–105). Hyattsville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services.Google Scholar
- Seventh-day Adventist World Church Statistics. (2014). Retrieved 10 December 2015, from http://www.adventist.org/information/statistics/.
- Shaw, J., Treglia, M., Motheral, B., & Coons, S. (2000). Comparison of the depression screening characteristics of the CES-D, MHI-5, and MCS-12 in primary care. In AHSR Annual meeting: Behavioural health. Google Scholar
- Ware, J. E., Kosinski, M., & Dewey, J. E. (2000). How to score version 2 of the SF-36 health survey (standard & acute forms). Lincoln: Quality Metric Incorporated.Google Scholar
- World Health Organisation. (2008). Commission on Social Determinants of Health. Closing the gap in a generation: health equity through action on the social determinants of health. Geneva: Author. Retrieved from http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2008/9789241563703_eng.pdf?ua=1.