School-attending adolescents and alcohol use: effect of religion and other associated socio-demographic factors as seen in Benin city, Nigeria

  • AN Otakpor
  • OO Akanni

Abstract

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: This study assessed the prevalence of alcohol use by secondary school adolescents and its association with religion and other socio-demographic variables with a view to improving alcohol use preventive programs. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Four hundred and sixty five school-attending adolescents aged 16 to 19 years comprising 255 (54.8%) males and 210 (45.2%) females were randomly selected, and assessed by means of self-administered questionnaires for alcohol use; religious affiliation, commitment (orientation), and parental religiosity; and family structure, type of school attended, gender and age.
RESULTS: The lifetime, 12-month and 30-days prevalence rates of alcohol use were 55.9%, 41.9% and 29.0% respectively. Low parental religiosity (X2 =11.85, df =2, p =0.00) and male gender (X2 = 9.50, df = 1, p = 0.00) were significantly associated with alcohol use. Also, alcohol use in the past 12 months was significantly associated with religious orientation (F = 2.94, p = 0.03); the unclassified religious orientation subgroup reported significantly higher alcohol use than the extrinsic personal and the intrinsic oriented subgroups. Age, type of school attended, family structure and religious affiliation were not associated with alcohol use.
CONCLUSION: Religious commitment and high parental religiosity appear to have protective effects against alcohol use by adolescents. Large scale collaborative studies to test these findings are advocated.

Keywords: Adolescent alcohol use, religion and religious orientation, parental religiosity, epidemiology

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