CitationFahey, K.M.L. & Dermody, S.S (2023). The Role of Race/Ethnicity, Sexual Identity, and Religiosity in Understanding Substance Use..
AbstractPurpose: Religiosity is protective for substance use in heterosexual samples; it has no association with substance use in LGB (lesbian, gay, bisexual, etc.) samples. Race/ethnicity may further moderate this relationship as: 1) Religiosity may be more or less salient dependent on racial/ethnic identity; and 2) Compounding minority identities may exacerbate stress' effect on outcomes.
Method/Data: Data were from Wave V (2016–18) restricted dataset of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (AddHealth; N = 11,822; Mage = 37.99). Religiosity was examined as a latent variable including frequency of attendance, frequency of prayer, affiliation (yes vs. no), and importance. Race/ethnicity categories were White (reference; 60.8%), Black (20.2%), Hispanic (12.5%), and Asian/Pacific Islander (API; 6.5%). Sexual identity categories included heterosexual (reference; 85.3%), mostly heterosexual (10.6%), and LGB (4.1%). Logistic regression models in Mplus examined associations and interactions between race/ethnicity, sexual identity, and religiosity on five substance use outcomes: cigarette, e-cigarette, and marijuana use (non-use vs. past 30 day use); alcohol use (non-drinker, drinker, moderate/heavy drinker in the past 30 days); and heavy episodic drinking (HED; none vs. any in the past year). Covariates were sex, age, and SES.
Results: Significant three-way interactions were present for e-cigarette (for API mostly heterosexual [b = −6.25, p = 0.043], and LGB [b = −1.53, p = 0.032]), marijuana (Hispanic LGB+ [b = −1.37, p = 0.031]), and alcohol (API LGB [b = −2.00, p = 0.026]). Simple slopes in these models revealed religiosity was protective in the following groups (ps <0.05): White heterosexual adults: all three substances; Black heterosexual adults: marijuana, alcohol; Hispanic heterosexual adults: marijuana; Hispanic LGB+ adults: marijuana; API heterosexual adults: e-cigarette, alcohol; API mostly heterosexual adults: e-cigarette; API LGB+ adults: e-cigarette, marijuana, alcohol. Religiosity was less protective for API heterosexual adults (e-cigarette and alcohol) and less protective for Hispanic heterosexual adults (marijuana).
Conclusions: The association between religiosity and substance use is moderated by race/ethnicity and sexual identity. Religiosity was more protective for certain substances in Hispanic and API adults with non-heterosexual identities than in Hispanic and API heterosexual adults; this pattern was not found in non-heterosexual White and Black adults.
Reference TypeConference paper
Book TitleResearch Society on Alcohol 46th Annual Scientific Meeting