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Longitudinal Associations between Social Relationships and Alcohol Use from Adolescence into Young Adulthood: The Role of Religiousness

Abstract

As adolescence is a time characterized by rapid changes in social relationships as well as an increase in risk-taking behaviors, this prospective longitudinal study examined whether social involvement and social alienation are associated with changes in alcohol use from adolescence into young adulthood moderated by organizational and personal religiousness. Participants were 167 adolescents (53% male) assessed five times between ages 14 and 18 years old. Latent change score modeling analyses indicated that social alienation was positively associated with greater increases in alcohol use among those with low organizational religiousness and those with low personal religiousness in early adolescence and during the transition into young adulthood. The findings demonstrate the detrimental effects of social relationship risk factors that promote alcohol use during adolescence into young adulthood. The results further highlight the protective roles of organizational and personal religiousness acting as additional sources of social engagement experiences to modulate the effects of social alienation predicting alcohol use progression and provide evidence for the positive impact religiousness has on healthy adolescent development.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank the former and current members of the JK Lifespan Development Lab at Virginia Tech for their help with data collection. We are grateful to the adolescents and parents who participated in our study.

Funding

This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health awarded to Jungmeen Kim-Spoon and Brooks King-Casas (DA036017) and Joe Allen (HD058305).

Data Sharing and Declaration

The datasets generated and/or analyzed during the current study are not publicly available but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

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Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

J.G. conceived of the study, participated in its design, performed the statistical analyses, drafted the manuscript, and substantially contributed to the revisions of the manuscript; T.H. performed statistical analyses and edited the manuscript; J.A. participated in the design of the study and edited the manuscript; B.K.C. conceived of the study and participated in the design and interpretation of the data; J.K.S. conceived of the study, participated in the design and interpretation of the data, and edited the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jungmeen Kim-Spoon.

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Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing interests.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Appendix A

Appendix A

Sensitivity Analyses Results

Tables 4 and 5

Table 4 Latent change score model of the moderation of organizational religiousness (Lowest 25% vs. Others) between social relationships and alcohol use
Table 5 Latent change score model of the moderation of personal religiousness (Lowest 25% vs. Others) between social relationships and alcohol use

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Gamache, J., Herd, T., Allen, J. et al. Longitudinal Associations between Social Relationships and Alcohol Use from Adolescence into Young Adulthood: The Role of Religiousness. J Youth Adolescence 51, 1798–1814 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-022-01632-2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-022-01632-2

Keywords

  • Social relationships
  • Social involvement
  • Social alienation
  • Religiousness
  • Substance use
  • Alcohol use