Concurrent effects of parenting and religiosity on adolescent substance use among Italian and Dutch adolescents
Authors:Chiara Landsman, Joanna Villegas
Mentor:Enrique Ortega, Faculty Advisor of Health Science, California State University Dominguez Hills
Background: Research has shown that parenting and religiosity have many positive effects on adolescent health behaviors, especially regarding substance use. Nonetheless, few studies have investigated the concurrent effects of parenting and religion on adolescent substance use, and fewer still have looked to compare these effects across countries. The purpose of this study was to investigate the cross-sectional associations of various parenting and religiosity indicators on substance use among Dutch and Italian adolescents. Methods: The sample consisted of 510 Italian and Dutch adolescents, living in the northwest of Italy and the northeast of The Netherlands, and was reasonably balanced for country (52% Italian, 48% Dutch), gender (48% female), age (mean age = 17.4 (S.D. = 1.4)). Due to the clustering of students within grades and possible intra-school correlation between students, a general linear mixed model was applied in the analysis. Results: Findings showed strict family rules (β = -0.05, p < 0.05) and general religiosity (β = -0.04, p < 0.05) were associated with alcohol use involvement among Italian adolescents. Greater involvement in church group activities (β = 0.16, p < 0.05) was associated with marijuana use among Italian adolescents. Number of religious services attended (β = -0.51, p < 0.05) was associated with marijuana use among Dutch adolescents. Conclusion: The influence of parenting and religiosity on adolescent substance use differs among neighboring European nations. Further research is necessary which can clarify the socio-cultural reasons behind such differences. Such information could be useful for targeted substance use prevention interventions within the health sciences.