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Journal Article

Religiosity and Alcohol Behavior: An Exploration of Reference Group Theory

John K. Cochran, Leonard Beeghley and E. Wilbur Bock
Sociological Forum
Vol. 3, No. 2 (Spring, 1988), pp. 256-276
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/684367
Page Count: 21
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Religiosity and Alcohol Behavior: An Exploration of Reference Group Theory
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Abstract

This study examines the relationship between religiosity and alcohol use and perceived misuse. Unlike most past research, we focus on adults rather than adolescents and distinguish among specific Protestant denominations. We also use a more appropriate statistical technique and place the findings in a theoretical context. The analysis shows that religiosity is clearly related to alcohol use, mainly because people's religion serves as a reference group influencing their behavior. The analysis also shows that religiosity is not related to perceived misuse of alcohol, mainly because societal norms are congruent with religious norms and, hence, appear to overwhelm any effect of religion.

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