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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 211540 Find in a Library
Title: Familial and Religious Influences on Adolescent Alcohol Use: A Multi-Level Study of Students and School Communities
Journal: Social Forces  Volume:84  Issue:1  Dated:September 2005  Pages:375-390
Author(s): Thoroddur Bjarnason; Thorolfur Thorlindsson; Inga D. Sigfusdottir; Michael R. Welch
Date Published: September 2005
Page Count: 16
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Utilizing data from Icelandic schools and students, this study evaluated a multi-level Durkheimian theory of familial and religious influences on adolescent alcohol use.
Abstract: Researcher Emile Durkheim’s seminal work on the density and structure of social networks, the intensity of social interactions, and the strength of social control has been assimilated into the common stock of sociological knowledge. However, Durkheim has caused confusion in his vague conception of different levels of social reality. This paper provides an updated Durkheimian framework for the study of religious and familial influences on adolescent alcohol use. It draws upon contemporary theories of social support, social control, and social capital to recast Durkheim’s vague conception of the density and intensity of familial society in terms of the conceptually and empirically distinct elements of family structure, parental support, parental control, and intergenerational closure. A multi-level Durkheimian theory of familial and religious influences on adolescent alcohol use is developed and tested with hierarchical linear modeling of data from Icelandic schools and students. The results show that adolescents are more likely to drink alcohol when either biological parent is absent from the household. Once measures of parental relations are taken into account, the effect of an absent mother is rendered non-significant and the effects of both an absent father and the presence of a stepparent are slightly reduced. Contrary to Durkheim, it was found that the effect of school-level prevalence of traditional families to be fully reducible to individual living arrangements. The results support prior research suggesting that religion affects alcohol use on the individual level and that its effect can neither be attributed to the religiosity of one’s parents nor the religious context of the school. References
Main Term(s): Adolescent chemical dependency
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Adolescents at risk; Family structure; Home environment; Juvenile drug abusers; Self evaluation; Theory; Underage Drinking
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