Racial Discrimination and Alcohol Use: The Moderating Role of Religious Orientation.Subst Use Misuse 2017; 52(1):1-9SU
An outgrowth of research has established a relationship between racial discrimination and alcohol use, as well as factors that moderate this association.
The main objective of this study was to determine if religious orientation moderates the relationship between perceived racial discrimination and alcohol use.
This study utilized a cross-sectional data collection strategy to examine the relationship among discrimination, religious orientation, and alcohol use among undergraduate students (N = 349) at a midsize southeastern university. Data was collected in 2014. Participants completed a demographic questionnaire, the General Ethnic Discrimination Scale, the Extrinsic/Intrinsic Religious Orientation Scale-Revised and the Drinking and Drug Habits Questionnaire.
Analyses using hierarchical linear regression indicate a significant interaction effect (lifetime discrimination × extrinsic religious orientation) on problem drinking. Additional moderation analyses reveal a significant interaction effect between lifetime discrimination and the extrinsic-personal religious orientation on problem drinking.
Results suggest that an extrinsic religious orientation, and particularly, an extrinsic-personal religious orientation, moderates the relationship between lifetime discrimination and problem drinking, suggesting that turning to religion for comfort and protection, rather than for the superficial purpose of seeing/making friends at church, may buffer against the deleterious effects of discrimination-specifically, engaging in problem drinking to cope with the stress of discrimination. Limitations, directions for future research, and clinical implications are discussed.